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POA Press Releases

PR 80 31 Jan 2014

POA calls on CPS to prosecute all assaults following Birmingham Crown Court decision on violent inmate

An inmate at HMP Birmingham, who injured five prison officers in two vicious and apparently planned attacks, has been convicted of two counts of Actual Bodily Harm and two counts of wounding with intent by Birmingham Crown Court.

The inmate, Ahmed Sharif Jama Al-Sharif, first assaulted a prison officer on 4th November 2012 when he punched and gouged the officer in his cell. This attack led the prison to implement a ‘three-person unlock’ safety procedure meaning that Al-Sharif’s cell door could only be opened when three officers were present.

Mr Al-Sharif’s behaviour became increasingly volatile and ultimately resulted in a vicious unprovoked attack – using a make-shift knife fashioned out of broken glass from a smashed TV – on the three officers. One officer, Robert Belcham, was stabbed and slashed to the bone of his arm, requiring a five-hour operation to repair damage to tendons and nerves. Officer Dave Fendley was stabbed five times and Officer Gary Street was slashed twice.

The officers are still recovering from their injuries, which include post-traumatic stress.

Mr Al-Sharif is due to be sentenced on 25th February 2014.

Ralph Valerio National Vice Chairman of the POA said:

“We welcome the decision to prosecute this clearly violent prisoner following his brutal and uncalled-for attack on our members.

“POA members run the risk of attack on a daily basis and thankfully violence on this scale is rare, but is increasing as the Governments drive to save money increases.

“What we want to see now is tough punishment of this inmate but also an ongoing commitment from the CPS to bring those who injure or assault prison officers to book.”

John Mullen of Thompsons Solicitors, who will represent the injured POA members in civil claims said:

“Thompsons will work with the officers and the POA to get them the justice they deserve as well as provide them with the support they need to enable them to get on with their lives following such a traumatic experience.”




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POA Press Office                                                                                        020 8803 0255 Option 7