Liverpool

Prisoner Keir Michael gets life for HMP Altcourse death

Keir Michael Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Keir Michael will serve a minimum of eight years

A prisoner who fatally stabbed another inmate who was days away from release has been given a life sentence.

Keir Michael, 41, was convicted of the manslaughter of Darren Ashcroft, 35, in his cell at HMP Altcourse by Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday.

The stabbing came just a month after a prison inspection report had warned about rising levels of violence in the jail in Merseyside.

The judge said Michael must serve a minimum of eight years in jail.

Image copyright Merseyside Police
Image caption Darren Ashcroft was due to be released

The court was told Michael, who is serving a sentence for robbery with a firearm, stabbed Ashcroft in the chest with a thin piece of metal that had been sharpened to a point.

The father of two had placed himself in front of Michael as he attacked his cellmate Terrence Roderick, 34.

Rachael Barber, senior crown prosecutor for Merseyside and Cheshire, said: "Keir Michael went into that cell with the intention of doing serious harm."

The HM Inspectorate of Prisons report had said "levels of assaults against prisoners and staff, bullying incidents and fights were high and rising sharply".

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