AN inmate at a young offenders’ institution (YOI) has been cleared of holding a fellow detainee hostage in his cell.
Daniel Andrews, 20, denied a charge of false imprisonment, stemming from the incident at Deerbolt YOI, near Barnard Castle, County Durham.
He was alleged to have lay in wait in the fellow inmate’s cell during the lunch break, on January 19 this year.
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Durham Crown Court was told that on the other inmate’s return to the cell Mr Andrews was said to have grabbed him and bound his hands and arms using cut up bedding, before detaining him with the use of a sharpened broken spoon handle.
Although a siege situation developed he eventually indicated a willingness to release the ‘hostage’, but the ordeal lasted about 90 minutes before prison officers were able to gain access and free him.
Mr Daniels, who was serving a 16-month sentence imposed at Newcastle Crown Court for several offences of assault and battery, imposed in September 2011, claimed it was a pre-arranged scenario designed to fashion a transfer from Deerbolt to another institution.
Chris Baker, prosecuting, claimed it was a genuine case of false imprisonment, reflected by the defendant’s record of violence offences.
But, on the third day of the trial, yesterday (Wednesday December 19), the jury returned a not guilty verdict.
Asked by Judge Christopher Prince if this would lead to his client’s release, defence advocate Thomas Laffey agreed.
Mr Andrews, of no fixed abode, was expected to be released to accommodation provided by the Probation Service, on Tyneside.