Prison rioters locked up
Court: Two men handed nine years and three others given six years inside
Prison inmates who started a 15-hour riot which caused more than £6million damage to Birmingham’s Winson Green prison have been jailed for up to nine years.
Luke Mansell, 24 and John Burton, 39, were last week found guilty of a prison mutiny which saw more than 500 prisoners let out of their cells.
Three others, Ross Wilkinson, 24; Robert Smith, 34; Nathan Weston, 23, all admitted the same charge before a Birmingham Crown Court trial.
Order was only restored at the G4S-run jail after hundreds of specially- trained “Tornado” team prison officers were drafted in on December 16, last year.
Sentencing on Monday, the Recorder of Birmingham Judge Melbourne Inman QC told the men: “You were unquestionably the ring-leaders and instigators of the mutiny.”
Burton, who had a lengthy record of 89 offences, was jailed for nine years, along with Mansell.
Mansell, on remand at the time of the riot, was convicted in February 2017 of conspiracy to commit grievous bodily harm, for an offence in which the victim was tied to a chair, had his penis branded with hair straighteners, was forced to eat faeces, and had a front tooth pulled out with pliers.
Wilkinson, a convicted burglar; Weston, who had been jailed for arson, and Smith, with 25 previous convictions, were each jailed for six years.
The sixth “instigator”, 30-year-old Grant Samed, will be sentenced in November.
Trouble first flared when the prisoners jumped on “suicide netting” on N wing’s landing.
Smith then snatched a set of keys from a prison officer.
As the chaos spread, the gate witnessed a stand-off between riot squads on one side, and prisoners armed with pool balls, paint pots, and other makeshift weapons on the other.
A TV was dropped from a window narrowly missing a prison officer’s head, while one riot officer described “pool balls bounce off his helmet”.
The impact on the jail’s staff had been “harrowing”, with one officer stating “I keep thinking about what would have happened if we hadn’t got out”.
Two other men; Carl Brookes, 33, and 30-yearold Ross Queen will be sentenced on Tuesday for taking an unauthorised photo in the prison, during the riot.
RESPONSE: Riot police stand guard outside HMP Birmingham back in December last year when a riot began that caused millions of pounds worth of damage