Four prisoners have today appeared in court charged with “taking part in a prison mutiny intending to overthrow lawful authority” at HMP Birmingham on Friday 16th December 2016.
The 12-hour riot at HMP Birmingham, one of Britain’s biggest prisons, involved over 600 of the 1,450 inmates and spread through every one of the 11 wings of the jail causing millions of pounds worth of damage. It is thought to be the worst incident since the 1990 Strangeways riot.
Carl Brooks, 32 and Luke Mansell, 23 appeared in court today have been remanded to HPM Hewell, and HMP Nottingham respectively. Brooks is also accused of taking a photograph without authorisation during the day long disturbances. Ross Wilkinson, 23 and Nathan Weston, 22 were remanded in custody after appearing at Birmingham Magistrates’ Court via video links to HMP Lincoln and HMP Long Lartin in Worcestershire respectively.
A total of eight inmates have now been charged.
The G4S run prison had had 30 prison officers leave in the preceding weeks putting pressure on the remaining staff. During the Violence, the BBC New Service received calls from several men claiming to be calling from inside HMP Birmingham who said that poor conditions, inadequate staff numbers, poor healthcare and nutrition, and being on “lock-down” in their cells all day was behind the disturbance.
“This disturbance will rightly be subject to scrutiny and we will work openly and transparently with the Ministry of Justice and other relevant authorities to understand the cause of today’s disorder.” said, Jerry Petheric, MD of G4S Custodial and Detention.
Commenting on the inquiry, Sergeant Nick Revitt, from Force CID at West Midlands Police, said:“We are continuing to view CCTV and speak to witnesses in connection with the disorder. We are working with the Prison Service and G4S as part of the investigation which could see further charges in the future.”
The offence of prison mutiny carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment.