Masked and armed prisoners took control of an open prison within half an hour of turning on staff, a court heard yesterday.
The mutiny at Ford prison, West Sussex, in the early hours of New Year's Day 2011 saw inmates running amok, looting, smashing and torching buildings and property, a jury at Hove Crown Court was told.
The jury heard that by the time the authorities were back in control of the prison 12 hours later, more than £5m of damage had been caused.
Seven men deny a charge of prison mutiny. One of the defendants, Thomas Regan, has admitted violent disorder and another, Lee Roberts, has pleaded guilty to arson. The trial continues.