A pre-meditated attack by a prisoner, using an improvised weapon to slash the throat of a fellow inmate, could have proved fatal, a court heard.

The perpetrator, Ali Inan, now faces at least more than another decade behind bars before he may be released, as he is considered a “dangerous” offender.

Inan carried out the horrific attack armed with a fashioned bladed weapon, a razor blade embedded into a tooth brush, in full view of other inmates on the exercise yard at Durham Prison, on March 20, last year.

Durham Crown Court was told two other inmates blocked the view of the nearest supervising officer as Inan went behind the targeted prisoner before slashing him across the throat with the self-made weapon.

The Northern Echo:

Nicoleta Alistari, prosecuting, said the wound inflicted, almost from ear to ear, would have proved fatal but for the presence and swift intervention of prison staff and the medical facilities available within the establishment.

Miss Alistari said on his own account, Inan was paid to attack the other inmate, and told prison staff: “If you are going to do a job you might as well do it well.”

Read more: Durham Prison officer was attacked twice within weeks by defendant

Nevertheless, the 25-year-old defendant, denied a charge of wounding with intent, but he was convicted after a trial at the court in August.

The sentencing hearing was told Inan has 12 convictions for 23 offences, including attempted robbery, wounding with intent, and carrying a bladed article, plus other assaults, some committed while serving previous sentences in prison.

Miss Alistari said he was on remand at HMP Durham at the time of the incident, shortly before receiving a 54-month sentence for making threats while carrying an offensive weapon and robbery, plus assault causing actual bodily harm and affray, later last year.

The prosecutor added that the Crown submits it was a “high culpability” attack, for which there was, “Significant planning or pre-meditation” as well as the use of a highly dangerous weapon.

Robert Mochrie, for Inan, told the court: “Being realistic about matters, there’s little I can say.

“I understand the case was adjourned for an assessment of the dangerousness of the defendant, as a previous pre-sentence report went as far as to make that finding.”

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Mr Mochrie told Judge Jo Kidd: “Clearly, he accepts he’ll receive a lengthy custodial sentence today and I ask, on his behalf, that you keep it as short as is commensurate with your public duty.”

Judge Kidd told Inan: “At the time of the incident you were awaiting sentence, in fact you had only just recently spoken to your probation officer and I’ve had sight of that pre-sentence report.

“The conclusion of that is that you are thought to pose a significant risk of serious harm to the public by the commission of specified offences.

“Despite that, on April 11 last year, you did not receive an extended sentence, despite your long history of serious violent offending, and you went on to receive a 54-month sentence.

“The circumstances here are that at the request of another prisoner, whether or not for financial gain, you made a deliberate decision to manufacture your own weapon, involving embedding a blade into a tooth brush.

“You went out onto the exercise yard and targeted a pre-determined inmate, and, assisted by two other prisoners, blocking the view of a supervising officer, it allowed you to go to the back of the victim.

“You used that weapon to cause truly horrific injuries and it was a matter of good fortune the victim didn’t sustain a fatal injury.

“The cut caused prodigious bleeding from the neck area and it was entirely down to the quick medical assistance he received that he survived extensive blood loss that followed from such an injury.

“Your response, afterwards, was to mock the victim and you showed no remorse and goaded other prison officers about the incident in the week that followed, entirely consistent with your previous offending of posing a significant risk of further specified offences that can cause serious harm.”

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Sentencing him as a dangerous offender, Judge Kidd imposed an extended determinate sentence including a 15-year custodial element, to be followed by five years’ extended licence period.

Inan must serve two-thirds of the custodial element, ten years, before he can be eligible for consideration for parole.

But Judge Kidd ruled that the 15-year sentence would only start at the conclusion of the defendant’s existing 54-month sentence.