Hereford & Worcester

Long Lartin prison governor attacker given 10 years

HMP Long Lartin Image copyright Google
Image caption McKenzie struck the governor while she was talking to inmates at HMP Long Lartin

An inmate who attacked a prison governor has been sentenced to a further 10 years in jail.

David McKenzie, 50, was an inmate of HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire when he attacked governor Clare Pearson in May 2018.

Ms Pearson had to have surgery after suffering a fracture to her jaw in the "abhorrent assault".

McKenzie was found guilty of grievous bodily harm with intent and sentenced to 10 years at Worcester Crown Court.

The Ministry of Justice said it welcomed the sentence.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said McKenzie struck the governor while she was talking to inmates, causing a bilateral fracture to her jaw.

McKenzie had been serving an indeterminate sentence for a robbery conviction from October 2010.

He was convicted of further offences while in prison, the CPS said, including actual bodily harm on a fellow inmate and possession of a knife in September 2017.

His latest sentence will run consecutively to those he is already serving.

McKenzie has since been transferred to HMP Frankland, a high-security prison, in Durham.

Image copyright A BROWN/MoJ
Image caption Governor Clare Pearson suffered a bilateral fracture to her jaw in the attack

After sentencing on Thursday, Det Con Andy Knowles of West Mercia Police, said: "This was an abhorrent assault of the governor of HMP Long Lartin, who was simply doing her job.

"Prison staff, like everyone else, have the right to work safely and without threat of violence."

Angela Millington, senior prosecutor for the CPS in the West Midlands, said: "Prison staff carry out a difficult and demanding role which is vitally important to the justice system.

"This was a deliberate attack against the prison governor which resulted in very serious injuries and for which the defendant has been held accountable."

A Ministry of Justice spokesperson said: "We always push for the strongest punishment for assaults on our hardworking staff and welcome the sentence handed down in this case."

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