Inmate who slashed Nottingham prison officer's throat sentenced

Michael McKenna Image copyright Nottinghamshire Police
Image caption Michael McKenna took two blades from prison issue razors before the attack

An inmate who slashed a prison officer's throat with razor blades has been given an 11-year jail sentence.

Michael Dye needed 17 stitches in a 10cm (4in) wound to his neck after the attack at HMP Nottingham on 14 April.

Nottingham Crown Court heard he was "lucky" an artery was not hit.

Michael McKenna admitted wounding with intent and attempting to cause grievous bodily harm to another prison officer at a court appearance in September.

The 25-year-old also admitted racially-aggravated threatening behaviour towards a detention officer following the slashing.

The court heard Mr Dye had recently started working at the Category B male prison, which has been previously described as "dangerous" and having a "very significant" problems with violence.

McKenna - who appeared at court via videolink from HMP Wakefield - had only arrived at the prison the previous day.

Alan Murphy, prosecuting, said when Mr Dye was releasing prisoners for their hour of association time, McKenna approached the officer while holding two blades taken from prison issue razors.

"Suddenly, for no reason at all, the defendant lunged towards Mr Dye," he said.

CCTV footage shows other prison officers arriving seconds later, with McKenna attempting to slash at Alexander Malcolm.

After the attack McKenna was arrested and taken to a custody suite where he racially abused a detention officer.

Sentencing, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC said the "premeditated" attack was carried out "without warning, without reason".

"You slashed his throat, causing a nasty, gaping wound," he said.

Image copyright PA Media
Image caption Previous reports into HMP Nottingham have highlighted issues with violence

The court heard both prison officers have been affected by the attack, with a statement from Mr Dye saying the scarring to his neck "acts as a constant reminder", but both continue to work in the service.

Andy Baxter, spokesman for the Prison Officers Association in the Midlands, said attacks like this have "an impact on the resilience and mental wellbeing of all prison staff", adding Nottingham "is still an incredibly difficult prison to work in".

"[Mr Dye] is a really well-liked prison officer, not just by other officers but also prisoners, which shows he was doing a reasonable job," he said.

"It's a miracle that his injuries were not worse - 3mm round the side and it would have been his jugular."

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