The ex-governor of a high security jail where three prison officers were stabbed by a triple murderer said today he felt "let down, dismayed and humiliated" after a jury cleared the inmate of all charges.
BROKEN HOT SAUCE BOTTLEATTACKER: GOVERNOR "DISMAYED" THAT KEVAN THAKRAR HAS BEEN CLEARED -MIRROR NEWS
The ex-governor of a high security jail wherethree prison officers were stabbed by a triplemurderer said today he felt "let down, dismayedand humiliated" after a jury cleared the inmate ofall charges. Kevan Thakrar, 24, admitted stabbingthe members of staff at Frankland Prison, Durham,in March last year with a broken chilli bottle butclaimed he lashed out in self-defence as he fearedhe was about to be attacked.Thakrar, fromStevenage, Hertfordshire, was suffering from PostTraumatic Stress Disorder as a result of previousprison experiences, Newcastle Crown Courtheard.
A jury took eight hours and 15 minutes to clearhim of two counts of attempted murder and threecounts of wounding with intent. He was serving atleast 35 years of a life sentence for the drug-related murder of three men and the attemptedmurder of two women carried in Bishops Stortfordwith his brother Miran in 2007.David Thompson,who retired as governor of Frankland last monthand was in charge when officers Craig Wylde,Claire Lewis and Neil Walker were attacked, wasdeeply upset by the verdicts. He said officersWylde and Lewis will not work in the prison serviceagain and that Mr Walker courageously saved MsLewis from worse injuries by tackling Thakrar.
Mr . Thompson said afterwards: "I shouldremind everyone that these officers and everymember of staff at Frankland and the prisonservice in general are public servants. "Their workis out of sight but it requires the highest level ofprofessionalism, courage and conviction. "It isoften unseen and under-reported. "They deservebetter recognition and they deserve better supportthan we have seen from the outcome of this case."Prison officers have to deal with the countrysmost difficult and most dangerous individuals andthey have to perform those duties within theconfines of the law.
. "They are not above the law, nor shouldthey be. "In this case, other criminal justiceprofessionals have been amazed by howprofessional and restrained they were indealing with the assailant immediately afterthe incident."Thakrar, who wept as the verdictswere returned and thanked the jury, claimed hewas exposed to racism at Frankland. Mr.Thompson said the injured officers were "decentpeople". "They are not the sort of people whodeserve to find themselves in this terrible, hurtfulsituation," he said. "Staff at Frankland andelsewhere across the service will feel let down,dismayed and humiliated by part of the criminaljustice system in which they serve.
"Colleagues in other professional agencieshave expressed their dismay at how a case likethis can be conducted in a manner where thevictims feel they are on trial, that they have donesomething wrong, and then for the assailant to beexonerated." Mr . Justice Simon thanked the juryat the outcome of the case and instructed that theydo not have to sit again for 10 years. He alsoexpressed sympathy to the injured guards, adding:"It was not part of the defence case in any waythat they brought their injuries upon themselves."