Man who murdered Norwich woman claims £100,000 after jail beating
- Credit: Archant
A double killer who murdered a Norwich woman is trying to claim £100,000 in compensation after he was attacked in a prison exercise yard.
Lee Newell, 51, is serving a whole-life sentence for two murders, including his then neighbour Mary Neal in Gateley Gardens, Norwich, in 1988.
He was also convicted in 2013 of having fatally strangled child killer Subhan Anwar in Long Lartin Prison.
But Newell lost an eye in a prison attack by a fellow inmate and is suing the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) over his injuries.
Newell was "savagely" attacked by another double killer, Gary Vinter, in the exercise yard of Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes in November 2014.
Vinter punched Newell to the ground and repeatedly kicked him in the head in a bid to engineer a move to another prison, the High Court heard.
Newell, 52, also suffered a traumatic brain injury in the assault, and is seeking up to £100,000 in damages from the MoJ.
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He says prison guards should have done more to monitor Vinter, and to protect him from the clear risk he posed.
But Jack Holborn, for the MoJ, said prison staff carried out regular risk assessments and pointed out that both Vinter and Newell were “dangerous and violent men”.
"The prison could not keep them permanently locked up and segregated from other prisoners," he told the High Court.
Vintner was serving a life term when he went for Newell, Judge Peter Marquand heard.
Although Vinter halted his onslaught after 27 seconds, he then returned to kick Newell 30 seconds later and was heard shouting: “That’s what you get when you mess me about."
Witnesses said later that Vinter had been on edge and threatened staff in the weeks before the violence, suggesting that he might “kick off” if he was not moved on.
But MoJ lawyers said Newell’s own conduct had been “concerning” in the days leading up to the attack.
A guard who witnessed the violence said Newell’s injuries were “the worst I have seen in a prison in 21 years of service."
The hearing is due to conclude on Wednesday and it is expected that judgment will be reserved to a later date.