Boiling water horror attack on South Yorkshire prison officer

Lindholme Prison, Doncaster
Lindholme Prison, Doncaster
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An inmate who poured boiling water over a South Yorkshire prison officer’s head for kicks has been jailed for 17 years.

Aaron Chalk, aged 25, attacked Graham Crossland with a mixture of scalding water and sugar which lags at Doncaster’s Lindholme Prison call ‘napalm’.

The syrup-like liquid sticks to the skin and intensifies burns and 51-year-old Mr Crossland, was only saved by a quick-thinking colleague who poured cold water over him for 18 minutes.

Although the burns healed, the victim was left suffering chronic post traumatic stress disorder and has been medically retired from the prison service.

Chalk was facing a life sentence but instead was given a 17-year extended jail term for what Judge Jonathan Durham Hall called a ‘horrific’ attack.

“It is difficult to find a more horrible case,” said the judge who was sitting at Sheffield Crown Court.

Mr Crossland said the attack had a ‘major’ impact on his life. He had returned to work but been unable to carry out his duties.

“I have become a nervous wreck and am constantly looking over my shoulder and have been physically sick at times,” he said.

David Wain, prosecuting, said Chalk was seen to leave his cell armed with the kettle and without warning ‘poured it deliberately almost carefully’ over Mr Crossland’s head.

The officer felt intense burning to his scalp, hair and face.

Fortunately, he was rescued by another officer before being taken to hospital. Chalk was put in segregation.

Judge Durham Hall said the attack had a ‘catastrophic’ effect on family man Mr Crossland who had been forced to give up the ‘difficult and dangerous job in which he was highly regarded’.

“What happened was cruel, chilling and sinister,” he told Chalk.

“As he went about his duties you began a premeditated, unprovoked attack.

“You had nothing against him and he certainly had nothing against you.

“It was designed to inflict serious and lasting pain. This was a horrific attack and the victim has suffered deep-seated and long-lasting psychological disturbance.”

Shaven-headed Chalk, serving 80 months for a machete robbery, appeared handcuffed to an officer in the dock with a three-inch scar down his right cheek.

He was moved to Armley jail in Leeds following the attack at Lindholme Prison on January 27, 2014.

Chalk refused to be interviewed about the attack but wrote several letters boasting how he had poured a bowl of sugar into the boiling water to make the improvised weapon and attacked a ‘screw’.

He boasted: “I took half the top of his head off and half the left side of his face.”