Man who took prisoner hostage jailed for attack on Norwich prison guard

PUBLISHED: 17:03 29 October 2019 | UPDATED: 17:03 29 October 2019

An inmate on a landing at Norwich Prison Photo: Bill Smith

An inmate on a landing at Norwich Prison Photo: Bill Smith

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A man who broke a prison officer’s nose after refusing to exercise has been jailed for the surprise attack which left the victim “seriously considering leaving the job”.

Jasper Thomson, 25, had been due to be sentenced for the offence of assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH) on Monday (October 28) but the case had to be adjourned after he took his cell mate hostage in order to avoid attending the hearing.

Norwich Crown Court had heard Thomson refused to attend as it "was too far north of Bedford" and had "taken his cell mate hostage to avoid being produced".

Jonathan Goodman, mitigating, urged the court to have the case adjourned as "if it's right he's taken a hostage" there might be mental health issues that need to be addressed.

But Thomson was dealt with on Tuesday (October 28) when he was sentenced to a total of 12 months in prison, including 11 months for the ABH and a further month for a bail act offence.

As previously reported, Thomson had refused to leave his cell at HMP Norwich for exercise on October 6 last year.

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He had responded "in an aggressive manner" when called out for exercise and pushed the prison officer, who was working alone at the time.

The prison officer then felt a punch to the right side of his nose which took him completely by surprise and resulted in a broken nose.

The officer had to attend hospital several times and eventually underwent surgery to correct a broken nose.

In a victim personal statement, the prison officer said it was the second time his nose had been broken working at the prison.

He added he has anxiety and depression as a result of the incident, and was having "flashbacks".

He was put on restricted duties after the attack, which prevented him working overtime.

"This whole ordeal has left me feeling unsafe and vulnerable at my place of work, and left me seriously considering leaving this job," he added.

Andrew Spence, mitigating for Thomson at an earlier hearing at Norwich Magistrates Court in June, he said: "There is a mental health background to this and further psychological evaluation is awaited. He does wish to express his apologies."

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