Strangeways riot leader locked up for aggressive begging
THE prisoner who sparked the Strangeways riot has been jailed again – for aggressive begging.
Paul Taylor, 53, has been jailed for robbery and breaching an injunction handed out by a council last year.
The injunction was issued for harassing, intimidating and ‘aggressively asking for money”, and came following complaints from residents and businesses in Birkenhead on The Wirral.
Taylor, of Whetstone Lane, Tranmere, sparked the Strangeways prison riot on April Fool’s Day 1990, when fire ripped through sections of the Manchester prison during 25 days of unrest over squalid prison conditions.
The riot claimed the life of one inmate and a prison officer, who suffered a heart attack two days after it began, and left dozens of prisoners and prison officers injured.
Speaking years later, Taylor claimed the riot helped improve prison standards around the country.
He said at the time: “My family suffered, I suffered. From that point of view it wasn’t worth it.
“But I am willing to sacrifice that part of my life to know that I have helped change the prison system.”
At a hearing at Birkenhead County Court on August 30 last year, an injunction was made for two years preventing Taylor from using or threatening violence or causing harassment, alarm or distress.
It also prevented him from entering several areas of Birkenhead.
In July, the injunction was amended to include further conditions to reflect his ‘continued anti-social behaviour.’
Taylor appeared before Wirral magistrates court last month, and received five months in custody after admitting breaching his injunction 11 times.
He appeared again at Liverpool Crown Court last week, when he was sentenced to three years in prison for robbery.
When the Strangeways riot happened, Taylor had been serving three years for theft, deception and assault, and was subsequently jailed for an extra 10 years.
In 1990, Strangeways held 1,647 men, despite only being designed to accommodate 970.
The cramped conditions led to simmering tensions that exploded when 300 inmates filled the prison chapel, where they listened to a Church of England sermon. An interruption by Taylor sparked a full-scale riot that quickly spread throughout the prison.
Images of prisoners sitting on the roof of the building, some holding banners, were beamed round the world. Paul Taylor now and, right, during the Strangeways riot