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Extended jail term for inmate who attacked prison staff

The words in court with a scales of justice icon

A man has been jailed for a total of 20 years after being convicted of assaulting six male prison staff while an inmate at HMP Bristol – and a number of assaults at other prisons between 2017 and 2020.

Daniel Matthews, now 28, was sentenced at Worcester Crown Court today, Friday 13 November.

Daniel Matthews

The attack at HMP Bristol happened on Friday 10 January. The court heard Matthews used an improvised weapon – a spike on a handle – to attack the team of prison officers at HMP Bristol. The officers went to his cell to move him to a segregation unit after he was heard making threats towards staff.

The weapon used at HMP Bristol

One prison officer suffered a fractured eye socket and bruised eye and a second was knocked unconscious, suffering a serious head injury and a puncture wound to his jaw. The other officers sustained puncture wounds from the weapon and one officer also suffered dislocated fingers.

The injury to an HMP Bristol prison officer

Matthews had also stabbed a member of staff at HMP Long Lartin, Worcestershire in February 2019 and assaulted fellow inmates at HMP Hewell, Worcestershire in April 2017, and a prison governor in May 2017.

His sentence is made up of:

  • seven years in prison for wounding with intent, five years for causing grievous bodily harm with intent and eight months for each of four counts of assaulting an emergency worker at HMP Bristol, to run concurrently
  • three years in total for the assaults at HMP Hewell
  • seven years for wounding with intent at HMP Long Lartin
  • concurrent sentences of one year and two years respectively after admitting two counts possessing an offensive weapon in prison
  • an extended sentence of three years

Sentencing, His Honour Judge Burbidge QC described Matthews as “a dangerous offender” under the law and extended the sentence by three years to a total of 20. He said he did not know when he would be fit for release.

DC Laurence Castle, who investigated the Bristol offences, said: “The assaults perpetrated by Matthews were planned and unprovoked and were aggravated by his repeated use of improvised weapons constructed by him. The lengthy sentence passed today demonstrates that the behaviour exhibited by Matthews will never be acceptable and that we will always look to prosecute those who assault emergency workers.”