Teenage inmate used makeshift weapon to stab 17-year-old

A teenager used a makeshift weapon to stab another inmate during a fight in a bricklaying class at  a West Yorkshire young offender institution.

By Mark Lavery
Tuesday, 1st October 2019, 7:00 am

Reece Colthurst pulled out a sharpened plastic knife during the fight at HMP YOI Wetherby last December and repeatedly struck his 17-year-old victim in the back of the head with it.

Colthurst, also known as Coulthurst, was serving a 32-month sentence handed down in March 2018 for wounding with intent.

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Colthurst, who admitted wounding with intent in connection with the attack at Wetherby, was locked up for a further four-and-a-half-years.

The court heard Colthurst, now aged 18 but who was aged 17 at the time of the attack, had previously had issues with the other youth and had advised staff at Wetherby YOI to keep them apart.

Bashir Ahmed, prosecuting, said Colthurst and the other youth were in a bricklaying class just before 9am on December 17 2018 when violence flared.

Mr Ahmed said Colthurst punched out at his victim and a fight started.

Colthurst, of no fixed abode, produced a plastic knife, which had been sharpened at one end and had a piece of cloth wrapped around the handle.

Mr Ahmed said: "During the course of the fight he repeatedly uses it towards and on the head of the victim."

The victim suffered a number of cuts to his head, which were glued and he did not need hospital treatment.

Colthurst suffered a bite to his right ear during the fight, which was captured on CCTV.

Andrew Stranex, mitigating, said: "It is an unfortunate fact that at Wetherby at that time fact there were significant issues between a number of the inmates."

Mr Stranex said: "Incidents of this sort were unfortunately frequent. It is of real positive note that since he has been moved to the establishment (HMP Forest Bank) there have been no difficulties at all."

Judge Simon Phillips QC sentenced Colthurst to four-and-a-half years custody, to run consecutively following his existing sentence.

Judge Phillips told Colthurst "You have what is described as a troubled background with periods of time in care and inn foster placements.

"It is described that you have had an extremely difficult start in life."