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Prison officer recovering after being 'stabbed in head by young offender inmate'

Published 11/03/2016

The staff member was transferred to hospital after the incident at HMYOI Wetherby
The staff member was transferred to hospital after the incident at HMYOI Wetherby

A prison officer was taken to hospital after reportedly being stabbed in the head by an inmate at a young offenders' institution.

The member of staff was transferred to hospital after the incident at HMYOI Wetherby on Thursday, and discharged later that day.

The prisoner believed to be responsible was stripped of his privileges and placed in the segregation unit.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "An officer at Wetherby prison was taken to hospital on Thursday 10 March following an incident involving a prisoner. The police are investigating. Violence against our hard-working staff will not be tolerated."

The young offenders' institute was placed on lockdown last month a s prison officers took action following a spate of violent attacks on staff.

Almost 300 offenders were kept locked in their cells on February 17 after five members of staff were assaulted within a week.

The Prison Officers Association (POA) said at the time that officers had withdrawn to a "place of safety" under health and safety legislation after believing they were not being offered any protection from management.

An HM Inspectorate of Prisons report on an inspection of Wetherby last January found that, during the previous six months, 212 acts of violence had been recorded compared with 192 at the previous inspection.

Of these, 88 were recorded as assaults on boys, 39 assaults on staff and 85 fights between boys.

The prison had recorded at least 19 incidents in 2014 in which staff had suffered serious injuries, and some incidents involved staff being repeatedly punched and kicked in the face and body.

In one assault, an officer's nose was broken and another suffered serious facial injuries. Between October and December 2014, 22 cases of assaults on staff had been referred to the police.

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From Belfast Telegraph