Leeds: Armley jail inmate in flip flops row attack

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An Armley jail inmate flipped in a row over his casual footwear and attacked a prison officer.

Francis McGinley lost his temper after he was ticked off by officer Raghbir Singh for wearing flip flops on the landing at the Gloucester Terrace jail.

McGinley, 29, punched the stunned officer in the mouth, causing a nasty injury that needed hospital treatment.

A struggle ensued and McGinley was restrained and taken the prison’s segregation unit, Leeds Magistrates Court heard.

McGinley, of Tinshill Mount, Tinshill, Leeds, had only served nine days of a four-month sentence for shoplifting when he lost the plot and attacked the officer.

He was released on October 7 but was yesterday back in court after pleading guilty to a charge of common assault on Mr Singh. He was jailed for four months.

Prosecutor Karen Williams said Mr Singh also suffered a strained thumb during the struggle with McGinley, adding: “He has suffered stress as a result of the incident. He was the victim of an an assault by an inmate a year before.”

Miss Williams said McGinley told police he had been on medication for 11 years for post traumatic stress disorder.

McGinley’s solicitor, Mark Pritchard, said his client could not wear regular footwear because he suffered from deep vein thrombosis in his right leg.

Mr Pritchard added: “He did admit he became confrontational with the officer. He accepted responsibility and expressed remorse.”

Jailing McGinley, District Judge Roy Anderson told him: “The custodial sentence I impose on you is, in my opinion, wholly justified, despite the fact that for many years you have not troubled the courts wit offences of violence.

“It is a different story when it comes to dishonesty. Prison officers are particularly vulnerable to assaults and violence from inmates. Courts must make it clear that such incidents will not be tolerated in the slightest. For that reason I pass a sentence of four months.”

Kim Leadbeater. PIC: Jonathan Gawthorpe

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