'80pc of inmates take Spice': Man 'staged' knifepoint hostage drama to dodge drug debt in prison
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A judge has said the "state has failed miserably" by allowing prisons to be flooded with the drug Spice after a drug addict accrued hundreds of pounds of debt in Wayland Prison.
In May 2017, Daniel Whymer and a fellow prisoner staged a “theatrical” show to prison guards, with Whymer seeming to hold the other prisoner hostage and holding a makeshift blade to his throat.
After a trial at Norwich Crown Court Whymer was acquitted by a jury of false imprisonment.
On Thursday he was at the same court to be sentenced for possession of a bladed article under the Prison Act.
The court heard the 24-year-old had built up £150 to £200 of debt to Spice dealers at the prison near Watton, and pulled the stunt in a bid to move to another facility.
His “manipulation of the system” worked, as he was put into segregation and the other prisoner moved out of Wayland.
Jailing Whymer, Judge Stephen Holt said: “The state put you in HMP Wayland and the state has a responsibility to keep you safe and drug free.
“The state has failed you miserably.”
Whymer told the court in evidence around 80pc of prisoners at Wayland used Spice.
“This particular prison seems to have a very difficult problem,” added Judge Holt.
Christopher Jeyes, for Whymer, said: “The threat is theatrical and not genuinely meant to instill fear.
“The risk of a bladed article in prison is if it is passed around to undermine the good order and safety of the prison environment. Alternatively it could be used to enforce criminal demands or debts. In this case that is entirely absent.
“I accept it was a most unwise escapade. It was not an appropriate way to behave.”
The sentence Whymer had been serving ended in January, but he has been held in custody on remand since then.
“He has not had a particularly easy time in custody,” added Mr Jeyes. “This offence was ill judged, and he has now stopped taking Spice, which was a large part of the problem.”
Judge Holt added it would be more beneficial for Whymer to come back into the community while drug free.
Whymer, 24, of Highpoint Prison, was given four months in jail for possession of a bladed article.