Strangeways rioters 'made death threats'

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Rioters at Strangeways jail, Manchester, shouted death threats at prison officers as they bombarded them with missiles, Manchester Crown Court was told yesterday on the second day of the trial of 12 men accused of taking part in the riot.

The jury was shown almost three hours of video footage shot during the 24-day disturbance, the longest in prison history.

The prosecution alleged many of the defendants could be clearly identified hurling slates at staff from the prison roof during the riot in April 1990. On the videos, shot by police and television news teams and screened on sets positioned around the courtroom, prisoners could be heard shouting abuse and threats at officers.

Brian Leveson QC, for the prosecution, said one of the officers was hit in the face by a slate thrown by prisoner Mark Azzopardi, 23.

After the officer was hit, Azzopardi was alleged to have shouted: 'I've killed him, I've killed him, I've killed the screw bastard.'

The trial was adjourned until today.