Call for urgent review into prison attacks

A judge has called for an urgent review of management at high-security prisons after hearing how a psychopathic inmate slashed the Soham killer Ian Huntley across the neck and later killed another child murderer at a second jail.

Sentencing Damien Fowkes, 36, to life in prison for the attempted murder of Huntley and the manslaughter of the paedophile and child-killer Colin Hatch, Mr Justice Coulson made his comments only days after the death of another prisoner at Frankland prison in Durham – the child rapist Mitchell Harrison, 23, who was killed at the weekend.

Hull Crown Court heard how Fowkes attacked Huntley in the healthcare unit at Frankland in March last year, leaving him with a gaping wound.

Fowkes was then transferred to Full Sutton prison, near York, where he barricaded himself in a cell with Hatch and strangled him.

Mr Justice Coulson said: "While everyone is acutely aware of the costs of monitoring vulnerable and high-risk prisoners, from what I have seen in this case it appears that the management systems currently in place require urgent review."

The judge added that the "notoriety" of the two victims had no bearing on the outcome of the case, which he stressed was a combined sentence for both attacks. PA

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