Inmate charged with attempted murder

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The Independent Online

An inmate at a high-security jail was charged today with attempting to kill two prison officers and seriously wounding a third.

Kevan Thakrar allegedly stabbed three officers at HMP Frankland in County Durham on March 13, leaving two in hospital, Durham Police said.

The officers, including a female prison guard, were rushed to hospital after Thakrar, 23, is alleged to have attacked them with a broken bottle.

It is believed they were opening a cell door at the time.

Thakrar is serving a 35-year sentence at the Category A prison after being convicted in 2008 of the murder of three men with a Mac-10 sub-machine gun.

The killer, originally from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, gunned down Keith Cowell, 52, his son Matthew, 17, and a friend Tony Dulieu, 33, in a suburban bloodbath over a drug deal.

He was arrested at Heathrow Airport as he attempted to flee the country.

A Durham Police spokesman said Thakrar was charged with two counts of attempted murder - one of which relates to the female guard - and one of causing grievous bodily harm with intent.

He will appear before a crown court judge in due course, the spokesman said.

Frankland is a Category A institution housing high-risk prisoners.

In 2008, HM Inspectorate of Prisons raised concerns about violence at Frankland, which has seen a number of high-profile incidents in recent years.

Terrorist Dhiren Barot suffered burns in 2007 when another inmate poured boiling liquid over him, and a few months later a convicted armed robber was injured in a similar attack.

The following year, trouble broke out when the cell of another terrorist prisoner, Kamel Bourgass, was set on fire.

Weeks later, a prison officer was injured during a riot when nine prisoners began smashing up their cells.

According to prison inspectors, Frankland holds some "extremely challenging prisoners", such as those with affiliations to gangs or a history of extreme violence.

It also houses prisoners convicted of serious sexual offences, some with severe personality disorders, and convicted terrorists.