HMP Full Sutton inmates 'held prison guard hostage'

Full Sutton prison entrance
Image caption Feroz Khan, Fuad Awale and David Watson have gone on trial accused of holding a prison guard hostage at HMP Full Sutton, near York

Three prisoners demanded the release of radical cleric Abu Qatada while threatening to kill a prison guard they had taken hostage, a court has heard.

Feroz Khan, Fuad Awale and David Watson made the demands while holding guard Richard Thompson captive at HMP Full Sutton, near York, in May of last year.

The alleged incident took place four days after soldier Lee Rigby's murder.

Khan and Awale, both 26, and Watson, 27 deny false imprisonment. Khan and Awale also deny making threats to kill.

Khan denies further charges of causing grievous bodily harm to Mr Thompson, relating to allegedly fracturing the guard's cheek, and assault occasioning actual bodily harm against a second officer, Rachel Oxtoby.

A jury at Woolwich Crown Court heard Mr Thompson was captured and held hostage for several hours by the three inmates on 26 May.

'Muslims are fighting back'

Judge Michael Topolski QC told potential jurors that during that time "threats were made to kill the prison officer" and "demands were made for the release of Abu Qatada".

Prosecutor Sally Howes, QC said Mr Thompson was held as part of a "carefully thought out, fully prepared and well planned" operation.

She said it had taken place at a time when relationships between staff at the maximum security jail and some Muslim inmates had become "strained" in the wake of the killing of Fusilier Rigby.

The court heard that two days before the alleged incident Khan and two other inmates had walked out of Friday prayers after the imam offered condolences to the Rigby family.

Ms Howes said Khan had gone on to tell a prison guard "Muslims are fighting back" and "And that's why people are getting killed."

The court heard he said the fight would continue until Sharia law was established in every country.

The trial continues.

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