Second chance for Doncaster prisoner who took fellow inmate 'hostage' by putting shiv to his throat

A man who held a fellow inmate ‘hostage’ by threatening him with a shiv in a bid to get transferred from a Doncaster prison has walked away from court with a suspended sentence.

By Sarah Marshall
Friday, 02 August, 2019, 16:55

The incident took place at HMP Doncaster on October 20, 2017, when defendant Daniel Steel, 29, grabbed an inmate who had gone to the medical room to pick up a prescription.

“He was grabbed from behind and held in a headlock, while Mr Steel held to his throat an improvised weapon. It’s the type of weapon that can be found commonly in prison, which has been made by melting razor blades into the stem of a toothbrush,” prosecutor, Andrew Smith, told Sheffield Crown Court today.

“He said: ‘You’re going to be my hostage’ and told prison staff: ‘I’m going to kill him’.”

Steel was sentenced during a hearing held at Sheffield Crown Court today (Friday, August 2)

More officers were called to the medical room, and they managed to take Steel away from the complainant without anyone being hurt.

Mr Smith continued: “In due course, the defendant explained he wanted his transfer request to be taken seriously.”

Through a statement submitted to the court, the complainant said the incident left him feeling ‘frightened’ and shocked because he had no previous problems with Steel and believed him to be a ‘good lad’.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Steel, of Westgate, Rotherham pleaded guilty to possession of an offensive weapon and affray at an earlier hearing.

Peter Byrne, defending, said Steel was released from prison in January 2018, and since then, had found employment, accommodation and had entered into a stable relationship.

“The birth of his daughter has had a dramatic effect on him. He says he hasn’t used drink or drugs in months,” added Mr Byrne.

Judge Graham Reeds QC sentenced Steel to 17 months in prison, suspended for two years, and ordered him to complete 200 hours of unpaid work and a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement.

He told Steel: “In my judgement, it’s worth taking a chance on you. You’ve demonstrated you have a reasonable prospect of rehabilitation.”

“If you don’t do the unpaid work, the rehabilitation activity requirement or turn up to the appointments, the likelihood is you will be brought back to court and re-sentenced,” added Judge Reeds.