‘Lifer struck prison officer in face’

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A prison officer suffered a serious cut to the face after being attacked by an inmate at Wakefield jail who is serving a life sentence for a double murder, a jury heard.

A trial at Leeds Crown Court heard Dano Sonnex, 30, struck the officer in the face with a pointed wooden weapon as he was being escorted to a shower area at the prison.

The jury was told Sonnex is serving a life sentence for murdering two students by stabbing them to death. The attack on the officer is alleged to have taken place on August 3 2013 on a custody officer on the exceptional risk segregation unit where he was being held. The court heard Sonnex was assessed as a high risk of attacking officers or inmates.

Sonnex was restrained by other officers after the attack. The injured officer was taken to hospital and had the wound glued back together. Sonnex is also accused of assaulting another officer in July 11 after losing his temper when property was removed from his cell. It is claimed he kicked the officer in the face as he was being restrained. Sonnex denies wounding with intent and assault. Denise Breen-Lawton, prosecuting, said Sonnex does not deny injuring the officers but denies being guilty of the offences. She said Sonnex claims he was psychotic at the time of the incidents and was not capable of forming the intent to commit them.

Ms Breen-Lawton said it was the prosecution case that Sonnex was not psychotic and was capable of forming intent. She said Sonnex had planned the violence and his motivation was to get moved out of the prison and into a hospital. Ms Breen-Lawton said: “The prosecution say that this man is violent, dangerous and angry because he was being kept in Wakefield and did not want to be there.”

The trial continues