Norwich prisoner guilty of wounding with intent

PUBLISHED: 09:04 07 August 2014 | UPDATED: 09:04 07 August 2014

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

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A prisoner who beat a fellow inmate at Norwich jail around the head with a metal chair leg has been found guilty of wounding with intent.

Russell Ireland, 30, was on trial at Norwich Crown Court after he denied the attempted murder of Michael Cubley and an alternative charge of wounding with intent on October 23, last year.

The jury at Norwich Crown Court yesterday took less than two hours to return the verdict, and one of not guilty of attempted murder.

Sentencing was adjourned until early October for a forensic psychologist’s report.

The court had heard that Ireland, who had just been moved to Norwich jail, had objected to Mr Cubley visiting his cell.

Mr Cubley had stopped to speak to him as he thought he recognised him, David Wilson, prosecuting, said.

Ireland told Mr Cubley to go away, but as Mr Cubley was standing in the landing area, he was approached by Ireland who took a metal object from his waistband and began to hit Mr Cubley about the head.

Mr Cubley fell to the floor and Ireland continued the attack using a “windmill-type action” with the weapon.

Mr Cubley tried to defend himself and when a prison officer came on to the scene and drew his baton, Mr Cubley managed to get away. He was treated for his wounds which needed two stitches and he also had concussion.

Mr Wilson said when Ireland returned to his cell after the incident, he had scrawled in blood “Cubley must die” and wrote a similar message a few days later. He said Ireland was then
transferred to Bedford prison.

Giving evidence earlier in the week, Ireland had told the court that he had not known Mr Cubley before he entered his cell, and thought he was taking part in what inmates referred to as “intimidation games” and described feeling “dumbfounded”. He said he moved from being “defensive” to “aggressive” and with the “adrenalin flowing” punched Mr Cubley in the face which resulted in him “scattering out of the cell”.

He said he had merely wanted to “regain control of the situation” and show other inmates he could not easily be intimidated.

The court heard Ireland had 19 convictions for 54 offences, including eight offences of violence.

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