Jail guard speaks out on riot
when four of them came in wearing hoods and just started laying into us,” Mr Florence added.
“Things carried on from there. Over the next couple of days we were moved between cells and they were making demands, and they had barricaded the whole place up.
“In total, I got stabbed four times on the body by a knife they had made up themselves.
“It gave the other cons a fright, because I was of no use to them dead. It probVictorian-era ably looked worse than it was to them, but I had a broken leg and collar bone at this time as well.”
Mr Florence’s injuries became such a worry for the prisoners in the end that they eventually had to release him for treatment.
Throughout the ordeal, his daughter Laura, six, and Gemma, two, had been kept in the dark. His wife, however, had been told about the incident by the arrival of police officers at the family home and a phone call from the prison. A Holyrood committee has called for improvements to the way boards of public sector bodies are run following a “steady stream of critical reports”.
The public audit committee set out its concerns in a letter to the Finance Secretary Derek Mackay, highlighting the example of “significant governance failings” at the Scottish Police Authority (SPA) which eventually resulted in its chairman Andrew Flanagan announcing he will resign.
It also cited reports from current and previous auditors general on problems of governance and financial management at public bodies over many years.
She was later hounded by former inmates ahead of a trial involving the men who had rioted – prompting the family to leave the north-east.
“My wife, Joan, went through a lot,” Mr Florence said.
“Prior to the trial my wife was getting phone calls to the house from people saying they had watched her take my daughter to school – and that she should make sure I shouldn’t tell any lies in court.”
Almost 11 months to the day of the riots, Mr Florence and his children moved to Dumfries, where he continued to work in prisons for the next decade.
Mr Florence said: “The type of people we were dealing with at that time, this is what they did. It was their life. I haven’t given forgiveness much of a thought, but I can understand why they do it – they put me and many other hostages through a lot.
“You never forget about it.” Joanna Lumley, pictured, has said technology has “intensified” the loneliness felt by elderly people.
The actress, 71, said the art of “everyday chit-chat” is at risk of dying out.
Lumley said she does not use self-service checkouts in the supermarket as she prefers to queue at the till for “the pure joy of the human contact it involves”.