Baby killer gives evidence at trial of fellow inmate accused of attempting to murder him with razor blades

Crown Court
Crown Court

An inmate has denied attempting to murder a "baby killer" who was on the same prison wing as him.

Convict Simon Sweeney gave evidence via a video link describing how he was attacked with razor blades in his cell at HMP Garth, in Leyland.

Fellow inmate James Wilson, 47, now of HMP Long Lartin, Evesham, denies his attempted murder and wounding with intent, and is on trial at Preston Crown Court.

Sweeney told jurors he had been making a cup of tea when he was attacked.

He said: " I had my back to the door. I just saw this hand, I thought someone was going to tap me on the shoulder but it came around the front of me.

"The hand came round the front of me as if to get me in a headlock. It went to my left cheek, I think it was trying to get to my throat.

"I didn't realise he had anything in his hands. I tried to push it off." I started shouting: 'Help.'

"I was bent down and put my head down trying to push him off and I saw blood on the floor. I presume it was coming from myself."

Paul Brookwell, prosecuting, said the attack happened just after prison officers unlocked the cell doors on December 28 last year.

He said: " They both were being housed on the same wing, they had cells at opposite ends of the corridor.

"The prosecution case is the defendant attacked Mr Sweeney and used a razor blade, or blades, to attack him around the neck and face to inflict what the defendant regarded as punishment for the fact that Sweeney was a “baby killer.”

"Prison officers Booth and Curran were on duty that morning and became aware of screaming coming from Sweeney’s cell. On reaching the cell the witnesses saw Sweeney on the ground in the foetal position. The defendant was kneeling on Sweeney and had the physical appearance of punching him repeatedly to the head.

"The witnesses were unaware at that stage that the defendant had razor blades in his hand"

He told jurors Wilson had been taken back to his cell where he had already prepared his belongings on his bed in preparation of being moved into the segregation unit – something the prosecution say shows it was a planned attack.

He admitted he used two razor blades,

The court heard Sweeney suffered an 8cm cut to the left side of his mouth, penetrating the tissue, though his muscle and cranial nerves were not damaged.

He needed stitches under local anaesthetic, and had also sustained a cut to his right arm.

It is alleged Wilson told a prison adjudication hearing the following day "Yes, I intended to kill him. He is a baby killer.”

Mr Brookwell told jurors during a police interview on January 24, Wilson was asked to explain his comment, to which he replied: "He’s a baby killer and he deserves to die.”

The catalyst for the attack is said to have been a comment Sweeney had made about the defendant’s children.

In his interview with the police, Wilson repeated the view that Sweeney had killed a baby and deserved to be punished.

He was asked: "So when you walk into his cell are you thinking I’m gonna kill him?” and replied: “Yeah.”