News 2012

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Prison officer fights sacking
Tuesday, December 18, 2012 By Sentinel reporter
A PRISON worker was sacked after being accused of assaulting a 21-year-old inmate.

Paul Perry, of Blurton, is one of three prison officers who were allegedly involved in the incident following a family visit.

He and another officer, Andrew Mountford, of Birmingham, are now making claims of unfair dismissal.

The prisoner, convicted following an armed bank raid, had put his leg on a chair during visiting time.

He was later taken to a room and searched to check if items had been placed in his trousers.

The inmate was allegedly pushed, pulled from a cell by his shirt and struck by the three officers at Birmingham Prison.

Details of the incident were revealed at Birmingham Employment Tribunal as Mr Perry and Mr Mountford were told they could go ahead with a full tribunal hearing for compensation claims against G4S Care & Justice Services (UK) Ltd.

The firm, which objected to the case going ahead, deals with staff at the prison at Winson Green.

Nicholas Sheppard, representing the respondents, applied to have the compensation claims scrapped because he alleged Mr Perry and Mr Mountford had little or no prospect of winning.

He said: "The claimants were two of three prison officers accused of assault and provocation.

"The prisoner was pulled out of a cell by his shirt, and pushed and struck. This was an incident involving serious misconduct. The prisoner was upset and agitated and made a complaint and an investigation was carried out."

Pair in court over murder of Northern Ireland prison officer David Black
Published on 20 December 2012 17:00 The Independent
Two men have appeared in courts on both sides of the Irish border in connection with the murder of a prison officer in Northern Ireland.

One defendant was accused of obtaining and bringing a car from the Irish Republic which was linked to the shooting dead of David Black, 52, on the M1 motorway in Co Armagh on 1 November.

The second man was separately charged in Dublin with IRA membership.

Dissident republicans claimed responsibility for killing the father-of-two as he drove to work at Maghaberry high security prison, near Lisburn, Co Antrim.

Prison officer cleared of attacking inmate says workmates framed her
ELIZABETH HEWITSON was sacked for gross misconduct and plans to take former employer G4S to a tribunal
select for full story

By Derek Alexander 7 Oct 2012
A PRISON guard cleared of assaulting an inmate yesterday claimed she was framed by her colleagues who wanted her sacked.

Elizabeth Hewitson, 31, was last week acquitted of punching Christopher Gibb while trying to restrain him at Kilmarnock Sheriff Court last July.

She now plans to take former employer G4S to a tribunal.

She said: “My reputation has been dragged through the mud and I’m now on the dole.

“People I thought were good colleagues made false statements against me and ruined my life.

“I was sacked for gross misconduct and that will follow me everywhere I go.

“I deserve to have my name cleared.”

Gibb claimed that another guard George Love, who no longer works for G4S, assaulted him.

But other colleagues Michael Fulton and Mechelle Hunter claimed it was Elizabeth who carried out the assault. Fulton and Hunter were branded “unreliable” and “incredible” by Sheriff Mhairi McTaggart.

And an internal probe by G4S resulted in statements by Love, Fulton and Hunter being branded “inaccurate to the point of untruthful”.

Fulton told the court he had been threatened with the sack if he didn’t back up claims against Elizabeth.

Gibb was later convicted of spitting on Elizabeth and assaulting Hunter. He was jailed for eight months.

Elizabeth, of Kilmarnock, says the allegations against her were made after she told union bosses a manager had assaulted her.

She said: “I was stitched up and now I’ve been cleared in court.

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