Strange­ways riot leader locked up for ag­gres­sive beg­ging

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By TOM HOUGHTON news­ @MENnews­desk

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

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