Killer ‘scalded in prison at­tack’

Ashbourne News Telegraph - - QEGS SPEECH NIGHT -

A CON­VICTED killer has told a court how she had boil­ing wa­ter thrown over her face and neck by an in­mate at a Der­byshire prison.

Josie Hol­lis said she went into Natalie Roberts’ cell at HMP Fos­ton Hall to ask her why she had just called out “mur­derer”.

As she did so, Miss Hol­lis said she saw Roberts, 35, clutch­ing a just-boiled ket­tle.

Miss Hol­lis said: “I knew what was com­ing so I went to turn away but she splashed the left side of my face with the wa­ter.

“I now have per­ma­nent nerve dam­age and I am on a high dose of med­i­ca­tion. I have real bad anx­i­ety, scared, I look over my shoul­der con­stantly. I have per­ma­nent scar­ring down my back, neck and chest.”

Mark Knowles, pros­e­cut­ing at Derby Crown Court, said the in­ci­dent took place in C-wing at HMP Fos­ton on July 27, 2017.

Miss Hol­lis was await­ing trial for the mur­der of 23-year-old Jor­dan Hill who died af­ter an at­tack in the hall­way of his flat in Sh­effield,on March 23, 2017.

That trial, in Feb­ru­ary, saw 32-year-old Bradley On­froy found guilty of mur­der and rob­bery fol­low­ing a trial at Sh­effield Crown Court. He was given a min­i­mum 33 years.

Miss Hol­lis, 24, pleaded guilty to man­slaugh­ter and rob­bery at a pre­vi­ous hear­ing and was jailed for 15 years.

She said in the build-up to the ket­tle in­ci­dent that Roberts, of Handsworth, Birm­ing­ham, had “con­stantly abused” her in ar­eas such as the can­teen. She said mo­ments be­fore it hap­pened she had been sup­port­ing an­other in­mate who was be­ing ver­bally abused by a third pris­oner.

It was then that she claims Roberts called out “mur­derer”.

Mr Knowles said: “You were not con­victed of mur­der, it was man­slaugh­ter.”

Miss Hol­lis said: “Cor­rect, I was con­fused so I ap­proached Natalie to ask her what she was on about.

“I walked into the door­way of her cell and saw she had a ket­tle in one hand and a cup in the other. The ket­tle lid was up.”

Roberts de­nies one charge of caus­ing griev­ous bod­ily harm with in­tent. The jury was told she will tell them Miss Hol­lis splashed her­self with the boil­ing wa­ter as the pair strug­gled in her cell with the ket­tle.

Devon Small, in cross-ex­am­i­na­tion, said to Miss Hol­lis: “You were an­gry when you went into that cell.”

She replied: “I was not an­gry, I was con­fused.”

He said: “You walked in, grabbed the ket­tle, Natalie Roberts tried to put her hands on it, you pulled it vi­o­lently and that is how wa­ter splashed on you.”

Miss Hol­lis replied: “That’s not cor­rect.”

A state­ment made by Sharon Fisher, the gover­nor of HMP Fos­ton Hall, was read to the jury. She said she over­heard Roberts shout­ing: ‘I should have killed her.’”

lthe trial was due to reach a ver­dict on Fri­day af­ter­noon, as we went to press.

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