Hastings man sentenced for Â£230k prison damage spree
A Hastings man took part in a disturbance at Lewes Prison during which Â£230,000 of damage was caused, says Sussex Police.
Steven Goodwin, 28, of Fairlight Road, Hastings, and serving prisoner Ross Macpherson, were sentenced at Hove Crown Court on Thursday (July 19) after admitting committing criminal damage.
Police said Macpherson began causing damage by using a pool cue to smash windows before Goodwin grabbed a table leg and used it to join in ‘smashing and destroying anything around him’.
Goodwin was later seen smashing all the windows to the officer observation office as a decision was made to withdraw all staff from the wing.
MacPherson was sentenced to two years imprisonment, to run consecutively to the 11-year sentence he is already serving for making threats to kill and aggravated burglary in Worthing in September 2016, and for wounding and possession of a bladed article in HMP Highdown, Surrey, in February 2017.
Goodwin was sentenced to 20 months imprisonment, less time served while on remand in custody, said police.
Shane Simpson, 29, of Arundel Road, Totton, Southampton; John Udy, 38, of Leominster Road, Portsmouth; and David Carlin, 25, of Tuxford Road, Kirton, Nottinghamshire, were also on trial charged with prison mutiny, violent disorder, and criminal damage.
The court dismissed the prison mutiny and violent disorder charges for all five defendants and the criminal damage charges against Simpson, Udy and Carlin were also dropped.
The prosecution followed a Sussex Police investigation into serious disorder at HM Prison Lewes on October 29 2016.
The court heard that some prisoners refused to go back to their cells when told to by prison staff. They had been out of their cells for morning recreation, a period that ended at about 10am.
Detective Constable Dan Thomson of Sussex Police said; “Macpherson began causing damage, smashing windows with a pool cue and things quickly escalated.
“Prison Officers began to fear for their own safety. The situation had become hostile and threatening and a decision was taken to withdraw all staff from the wing. Goodwin grabbed a table leg and used it to join with Macpherson in smashing and destroying anything around him.
“Goodwin was seen smashing all of the windows to the officer observation office on one of the landings and every single light fitting on the wing, as well as carrying a large metal chain which he was swinging around and using a fire extinguisher to smash the glass panels in the communal showers.
“Macpherson was seen setting off fire extinguishers, and using them as well as pieces of broken wood to damage whatever he could. When arrested he was found to be wearing a prison officer’s uniform jacket, which had been taken from the Wing’s staff room.
“At around 4pm that day specialist prison officers re-entered the Wing and restored order.
“The wing was unusable and uninhabitable. As a result it had to be refurbished and 125 inmates had to be moved away from the prison with the cost of repair being £231,396, plus the additional costs of moving prisoners away to other prisons.”