Longer sentence for robber who attacked prison nurse with boiling water

An inmate who left a prison nurse with horrific second degree burns has had his sentence increased after the Court of Appeal agreed his punishment was 'unduly lenient'.

Thursday, 28th April 2016, 7:49 am
Updated Thursday, 28th April 2016, 9:53 am
Preston Prison

Paul Byrne, who was originally jailed for seven years and eight months for causing grievous bodily harm to Yvonne Manfredi, had his sentence increased to 11 years with an extended four year licence - on top of his current 10 year sentence for a gunpoint robbery.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) referred the case to the Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP, who referred it to the Court of Appeal.

The court heard on October 8, 2014, Byrne, who was on the healthcare wing at HMP Preston, sounded his personal alarm at around 1.45pm.

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As Mrs Manfredi looked through the hatch of the cell he hurled boiling water in her face.

Senior crown prosecutor Brett Gerrity called his actions “unprovoked and premeditated”, adding: “Paul Byrne is clearly a dangerous man. Whilst he was serving a prison sentence for a violent robbery he committed whilst in possession of a firearm, he carried out another extremely serious offence by attacking a nurse at the prison.

“He boiled the kettle, poured the water into a bowl, pressed the alarm button and then waited out of sight so the nurse coming to his assistance would have to put their face to the hatch. He used the water as a weapon intending to cause the maximum harm he possibly could to his victim; she received hospital treatment for second degree burns and has been left with permanent scarring and discolouration to her face, neck, chest and arms.

“Aside from the physical scars, this traumatic experience has caused her long term anxiety and distress and as a direct result of the assault was forced to leave her employment with the prison service.

Attorney General Jeremy Wright QC MP said: “Given my previous role as Prisons Minister, attacks against prison staff are something I take extremely seriously which is why I wanted to present the case personally in this matter. Premeditated attacks like that carried out against a person serving the public in a difficult job deserve a strong punishment, not least because of the need to set a tough deterrent.”

“I am glad the Court of Appeal has agreed Byrne should spend longer in prison and I sincerely hope this longer sentence provides some comfort to Ms Manfredi.”