A Teesside prisoner led a “exceedingly violent” attack in which pool balls were thrown at a inmate who was said to be a “grass”.

The man, who was “minding his own business”, was set upon by the group including Middlesbrough man Jack Smith during a recreation period at the Northumberland prison on October 30 last year.

He was kicked and punched, suffering pain, swelling and bruising to his face and body, and was lucky not to have been more seriously injured, it was said at Newcastle Crown Court .

All four attackers – Smith, Liam Hodgson, Gary Mills and Daniel Trushell – had lengthy records of previous convictions for offences including robbery.

Now they have pleaded guilty to assault occasioning actual bodily harm and have earned another spell behind bars, reports the Newcastle Chronicle.

Smith, 23, previously of Ryhill Walk, Ormesby, was described as having “a leading role” in the incident.

He was given a further two and a half years in prison.

Smith was previously locked up for four years in 2016 after robbing a Teesside taxi driver at knifepoint.

Hodgson, 23, of Hilda Close, Sherburn, County Durham , received two years, Mills, 27, whose address was listed as HMP Durham, got two years and three months, and Trushell, 30, originally of Gloria Way, Grimsby, was given two years in jail.

Judge Simon Batiste classed the incident as “joint enterprise” and said all four defendants had been responsible for the overall behaviour.

Jack Meggison-Smith
Jack Smith after he was jailed in 2016

He added: “This was an exceedingly violent attack in prison upon a fellow prisoner – the raw violence and aggression shown to a man who was minding his own business.

“Violence is endemic in prisons and when people come before the courts for offences of violence in prison, a deterrent sentence must be imposed because a message must go out that this cannot be accepted.

“It is only through good fortune that the victim was not more seriously injured than he was.”

He further told the defendants: “This was a pack attack and you behaved like vicious animals.”

The assault began after Smith ran to the victim and shouted “f****** grass”. He started punching and kicking him before the others joined in.

Mills punched and kicked him, Hodgson threw a punch and Trushell came at him with a two-footed flying kick. Pools balls were then thrown at him.

The victim then managed to get to his feet and ran back to his cell where he locked himself in.

He suffered swelling to his face and head, a black eye, as well as pain and bruising on his body.

In mitigation, barristers for Trushell and Mills said they had expressed “genuine remorse” for their part in the incident and wished to turn their lives around.

Hodgson’s barrister, Louise Harrison, emphasised that his role was limited to “one swinging punch”.

She added: “Whilst he clearly involves himself, his involvement is limited to that. He’s not in a leading role.

“He fully regrets becoming involved and apologises.”

© 2018 Tees Info

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