Judge sentences Whitemoor inmate who threatened and held hostage two prison officers with a razor blade

Whitemoor Prison March, where two officers were held hostage by an inmate with a razor blade

Whitemoor Prison March, where two officers were held hostage by an inmate with a razor blade - Credit: Archant

A man serving a life sentence after starting a fire outside his ex-girl friend’s home pulled out a razor blade and held prison staff hostage at Whitemoor Prison, March, a court was told.

Jack Rowley, 22, pleaded guilty to the false imprisonment of two prison guards at HMP Whitemoor in September last year after he held them inside an office.

Rowley had asked to speak with a supervisor who took him into an office on his wing, along with another prison officer, before Rowley became aggressive and blocked the door, preventing them from leaving.

He pulled out a razor blade and threatened the officers with it, holding them in the office against their will for about 20 minutes.

He was eventually persuaded to drop the blade and was taken into the segregation unit.

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On Monday he appeared at Cambridge Crown Court for sentencing after pleading guilty to two counts of false imprisonment at a previous hearing.

He was sentenced to two years in prison for each offence, both to run concurrent, and to run concurrent to the sentence he is already serving for arson with intent to endanger life.

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Detective Constable Shelly Reeve said: “This was a particularly nasty incident where two prison officers were put at risk.

“We will not tolerate this kind of behaviour from anyone and will seek to take action where a crime has been committed.”

Four years ago Rowley appeared in the dock at Leeds Crown Court when he admitted arson with intent to endanger life at a house in Cemetery Road, Heckmondwike.

The court heard how Rowley had been in a relationship with a woman but he later found out that she was no longer looking after their child.

He went to her house, poured petrol on the front door and mat, and set it alight; he had been spotted earlier by a neighbour crouching outside the house.

The court was told that the fire was quickly put out and the damage was minimal but Rowley, after fleeing the scene, had dumped a petrol can under a tree in the area.

He was given a life sentence with a recommendation he serve a minimum of two years and 257 days.

The judge told him his actions had threatened his former girl friend’s life and was a pre-meditated, revenge attack.

Reports considered by the judge prior to sentence showed him to be considered a danger to the public and especially because of his desire for revenge against his former girl friend.

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