Belfast Telegraph

Monday 22 September 2014

Guard wants prison stabbing retrial

Kevan Thakrar was cleared in November of attacking three prison guards

A prison guard maimed by an inmate has called on the government to investigate his case.

Craig Wylde was left fighting for his life after he and his colleagues were attacked by convicted killer Kevan Thakrar at Frankland prison in Durham.

The 24-year-old used a broken pepper sauce bottle to stab Mr Wylde and his colleagues Claire Lewis and Neil Walker - but was acquitted at a trial of wounding with intent and attempted murder.

Mr Wylde's family believe there has been a miscarriage of justice and are travelling to the House of Commons on Sunday to meet Conservative MP Crispin Blunt, the parliamentary under-secretary of state for prisons and probation. They will deliver to him a 2,500-name petition calling for a retrial.

Mr Wylde's brother Lee, 35, of Durham, told The Journal in Newcastle: "We're pushing as hard as we possibly can for a retrial. There are about 2,500 signatures there now, which may not seem a lot for what it is, but it's gone global.

"I do believe there will be a retrial, it's just a case of how long it's going to take. My brother and everyone else concerned has been seriously let down by the courts."

Mr Wylde was left unable to work and now takes some 30 tablets a day to dull his pain following the attack. All three guards have since left their jobs.

Thakrar, of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, was jailed for life for his part in the 2007 murders of three men and attempted murder of two women in Bishop's Stortford, Hertfordshire.

He was cleared in November of attacking the guards while a prisoner at Frankland Prison by a jury at Newcastle Crown Court. The trial heard he was acting in self defence.

The prisoner - who must serve at least 35 years of his life sentence - claimed that previous prison experiences had left him with post-traumatic stress.

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