Third inmate in six weeks is attacked at HMP Frankland

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The Independent Online

A prison which houses some of Britain's most dangerous criminals has seen its third violent incident in six weeks.

Peter Chapman, 33, who kidnapped, raped and murdered teenager Ashleigh Hall, was attacked by another inmate in HMP Frankland prison in County Durham on Saturday. He was jailed for 35 years last month after posing as a teenage boy on Facebook to lure the 17-year-old girl to her death in October last year.

Last month Ian Huntley, who is serving a life sentence for the murders of Soham schoolgirls Jessica Chapham and Holly Wells, needed hospital treatment after he was stabbed in the prison's kitchens.

The week before, Kevan Thakrar, a convicted murderer, used a broken bottle to stab a prison officer in the arm. Two other officers called to the incident were also stabbed.

A Durham Police spokesman said officers had been called to an incident at the prison on Saturday, adding that cases of violence in prison were treated in the same way as violence on the streets.

"We would normally go to prison to interview them there, before deciding what action is going to be taken," he said. "Although an arrest isn't necessary as their liberty has already been removed, we take exactly the same route thereafter."

Chapman began his 35-year minimum sentence last month after pleading guilty at Teesside Crown Court to charges of kidnap, rape and murder.

HMP Frankland is one of the UK's five dispersal prisons, established in the wake of a prison-safety reform report written by Lord Mountbatten after a series of high-profile escapes. It suggested that the best way of keeping the most serious offenders under control was to designate a series of prisons to which Category A inmates could be "dispersed".