Teen inmate stabbed repeatedly in head and neck with sharpened cutlery during attack in exercise yard at Wetherby Young Offender Institution

A teenage inmate was stabbed repeatedly in the head and neck during an attack by two rival prisoners in the exercise yard at a young offender institution.

Tuesday, 20th July 2021, 4:45 pm

A court heard how a piece of sharpened prison cutlery was used to inflict the wounds during the assault carried out by Dominic Daniels and Stone Lawton.

The attack took place while defendants, both aged 18, were serving sentences for offences of violence at Wetherby YOI on September 21 last year.

Leeds Crown Court heard Daniels, Lawton and the victim were in the same 'Covid bubble' on a unit at the institution.

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Wetherby Young Offender Institution.

Rabia Mia, prosecuting, said groups of inmates would be kept together for exercise, showering and education classes to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

The attack happened as the the three were being allowed their daily half hour of exercise.

Shortly before the attack Lawton was at one end of the yard kicking a football while Daniels was talking to another inmate through a fence.

Lawton then called over to the victim and spoke to him before suddenly throwing punches.

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The pair continued to kick and stamp on the victim as he was on the ground.

Prison officers entered the yard and stopped the attack.

The officers managed to stem the blood coming from the victim's wounds.

He was left dazed but avoided serious injury despite the severity of the attack.

A sharpened piece of cutlery with a cloth handle was later found in the yard.

Ms Mia said the victim refused to support the prosecution and would not provide a statement as he did not want to be labelled a "grass".

Lawton went on to assault prison officers on two more occasions after the incident.

One officer was punched in the face by Lawton after he refused to be searched on October 15.

The officer had become suspicious when he saw Lawton fiddling with the waistband of his trousers.

Read more: Fraudster arrested in West Yorkshire seven years after entering UK illegally adopted fake identity to set up his own construction company earning £4,000 a monthHe was restrained after punching the officer and a piece of sharped plastic was found when he was searched.

After the attack, Lawton said to the officer: "You got banged, man."

The final attack took place on November 22 when he hit an officer on the head with a roll-up deodorant placed inside a sock.

Ms Mia said Lawton was isolating in his cell at the time as it was thought he may have had Covid.

The officer had to put on extra personal protective equipment before going into Lawton's cell to give him his food.

Lawton said to the officer "why are you violating my food" before hitting him with the improvised weapon.

Daniels pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and possessing an unauthorised weapon inside a prison.

Lawton pleaded guilty to unlawful wounding and two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

"He found it a difficult environment with a gang culture."

Mr Scarborough said Daniels' behaviour had improved since being moved to a different YOI.

Paul Reid, for Lawton, said his client was aged 17 at the time of the offences and was in fear of his own personal safety.

Daniels was given a two-year sentence, to run consecutive to the sentence he is currently serving.

Lawton was given a 21-month consecutive sentence.

Judge Robin Mairs told Daniels: "You have an horrendous record for violence.

"Mercifully, by luck and not by design, the defendant did not suffer serious injuries."