RIOTING prisoners at a South Yorkshire jail were likened to a ‘pack of wolves’ by an officer who witnessed the disturbance.
Jurors at Sheffield Crown Court heard Andrew Walker was on duty at Moorlands Young Offenders’ Institution in Doncaster when riots broke out on November 4, 2010.
In a statement read to the court, he said: “In all my experience I have never seen such wanton destruction and violence. They were like a pack of wolves attacking anything and everything.”
He described 15ft flames licking at the ceiling as shouting and jeering inmates hurled pool balls, bins, mattresses, a sink, a water fountain and whatever else they could get their hands on.
Timothy Capstick, prosecuting, said Mr Walker described the mood beforehand as ‘strange’.
He said trouble started at ‘association’ – when prisoners are let out of cells to socialise, have showers and play pool.
He said: “They weren’t doing what they would normally do. There was no community atmosphere. It didn’t feel right. I had a feeling it would be wise to move close to the gates to gain a quick exit.
“I have never experienced this in my whole career as a prison officer.”
He said when a bell rang to signal the end of association a bin was hurled over a balcony onto netting below.
He said: “I thought to myself all my fears were going to be confirmed and I thought there was going to be trouble.”
The statement of officer Paul Creighton was also read to the jury.
He said: “It was unsafe to put resources onto the wings at the time. It would have put officers in danger.”
Paul Dempsey, aged 36, 32-year-olds Lee Pidcock and Aaron Grahame, Michael Beale, 25, 23-year-olds Daniel Baldam, Jake Johnson, Mark McLean and Ryan Sturman, James Kelly, 27, 31-year-old Stewart Graham, Christopher Wilson, 26, and 24-year-olds Kyle Sherlock, Adam Mendoza, Daniel Hallgate and Nathan Willoughby all deny rioting.
Douaine Beaumont, 37, of Hull, has admitted rioting and will be sentenced at the end of the trial.
The trial continues.