An inmate who was high on spice hit a prison officer with a bag of faeces repeatedly until the bag split over her – covering her in ‘little bits’.
Joshua Hutton, 27, was on remand at HMP Liverpool, in Walton, for four days when he attacked officer Joanne Clarke with the disgusting bag.
In a remote hearing at Liverpool Crown Court, prosecutor Paul Blasberry explained how Ms Clarke had been performing her regular duties at around 3pm on August 19, 2019.
She noted Hutton seemed ‘perfectly normal’ and chatted to him as she allowed him out of his cell for medical treatment.
Around half an hour later all prisoners were allowed out of their cells for what’s referred to as ‘association time’.
Hutton, of Stanley Road in Bootle, was stood near the officer and Ms Clarke thought he was going to ask her a question.
Instead he lifted up his arm and threw a bag at the officer as she performed her duties – hitting her in the chest.
Mr Blasberry explained how Ms Clarke thought ‘What’s just happened?’ and looked down to see a clear sandwich bag filled with ‘a brown substance’ which she suspected was excrement.
Mr Blasberry said: ‘The defendant came towards her and she tried to kick the bag away. The defendant picked it up and hit her with it on a number of occasions.’
CCTV footage showed Hutton hitting the officer with the bag three times on her shoulder and head – at which point the bag exploded, covering Ms Clarke’s upper left chest.
Ms Clarke also described finding ‘little bits’ in her hair and the strong smell of faeces.
Hutton then managed to get on the netting between the landings – where he attempted to take his life.
As a result of the struggle Ms Clarke suffered soreness to her ribs and neck as well as bruising on her hand, but she didn’t require any further medical treatment.
Hutton was interviewed on November 25 last year and said he couldn’t remember the events and had been suffering at the time with PTSD.
He was on remand for a burglary offence at the time of the incident, and admitted to having smoked ‘a lot of spice’ in prison – causing him to have hallucinations.
At the end of the interview he said he was ‘ashamed and disgusted’ with his behaviour.
The 27-year-old has 33 previous convictions for 54 offences dating from June 2007 until January 2020 – a number of which have involved assault.
The convict has also breached court orders a number of times. Hutton’s representative, Charles Lander, explained that the 27-year-old was receiving ongoing medical treatment for mental health problems and has previously been sectioned and attempted to take his own life.
Despite claiming not to remember the incident Hutton entered a guilty plea as ‘if that’s what it says, I must have committed it and I apologise’.
Mr Lander noted that while there are aggravating features – including previous convictions and substance abuse – he urged Judge Neil Flewitt to consider a suspended sentence as there was ‘no desire to manipulate the system’.
The court heard how Hutton was on remand for a burglary offence when the incident took place but had not committed any further offences since his release from custody.
A report from one doctor noted that Hutton required ‘positive lifestyle changes’ and ’emotional stability’, which he will only get once released from custody.
Mr Lander explained that Hutton had told him he is ‘fed up with being in trouble’.
Despite submissions, Judge Flewitt ordered a sentence of two years reduced from three due to an early guilty plea.
Upon sentencing, he said: ‘It is hard to imagine anything more inhumane than one person throwing excrement over another – especially when the other is performing an important public duty.’
Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at email@example.com.
For more stories like this, check our news page.