Breaking KENT Sheppey

 A serving prisoner is to spend longer behind bars after assaulting a prison officer



Russell Harris was handed an 18-month custodial sentence on Tuesday 27 July 2021 after admitting a charge of actual bodily harm when he appeared at Maidstone Crown Court.


He also admitted seven counts of being in possession of a bladed article in a prison.


The 50-year-old, who was serving a prison sentence in HMP Swaleside, assaulted a prison officer on the morning of Monday 27 May 2019.


Previously, on Wednesday 15 May, an officer noticed a smell of fermenting liquor coming from Harris’ room and upon searching the cell six improvised weapons were found which had been hidden under a pillow, on shelving and concealed in clothes.


On 27 May staff re-entered his room in order to search it as he was believed to be concealing further weapons however he refused to comply. 


As officers attempted to remove him, he bit one of their thumbs. This resulted in the tip being severed and a fracture which required hospital treatment.


The search was, however, completed and officers found one more improvised weapon which had been hidden.


Investigating officer Detective Constable Karen Hearn said: ‘This type of behaviour is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.


‘Prison officers are aware of the dangers they can face but they should feel safe in their role and not be subjected to physical assaults from serving prisoners. This sentence is a reminder that there will be consequences to this type of behaviour.’