Inmate who threw faeces in prison officer’s face given extra two years


Edward Highton was handed an additional 27-month sentence (Pictures: SWNS)

An inmate who hurled a jug of faeces and urine in a prison officer’s face in front of other laughing lags will have to serve an extra two years behind bars.

Edward Highton, 40, launched the ‘disgusting and degrading’ attack at HMP Swaleside in Kent in September 2018.

The convicted robber, who has 17 previous convictions for 40 offences including kidnap and GBH, targeted the officer after he asked for prisoners to go back to their cells for lock-up.

Maidstone Crown Court heard the guard threw up several times as he frantically tried to shed his clothes and wipe himself down.

Test results for any diseases which may have potentially been transferred came back negative, but the officer later quit the prison service because of the ‘humiliating’ incident.

Highton, previously from Gloucestershire, was serving an eight-and-a-half year sentence for a robbery carried out in Oxford last April.

He was handed an additional 27-month term after admitting administering a poison or noxious substance with intent to injure, aggrieve or annoy.

CCTV captured Highton approaching the guard before throwing the noxious fluids (Picture: SWNS)

Highton claimed he had been ‘under pressure’ from other inmates to carry out the attack, saying there was ‘money on his head’ and he had been beaten and stabbed in the past.

But the court was told that jail records showed the only complaints he made were about the way the governor was running the prison, with nothing about violence or mistreatment.

Sentencing, Judge Catherine Moore said: ‘This was a disgusting attack on the prison officer as he went about his responsibilities.

‘He was a public servant, performing a difficult and challenging role in protecting the public and those detained.

‘Such attacks are designed to, and indeed did, upset, demean and distress the officer concerned.

‘Any conduct of this nature creates an obvious and serious risk of wider disorder and disobedience. It affects not only the morale of the officers but the safety of those in a custodial environment.’

Highton has 17 previous convictions for 40 offences including kidnap and GBH (Picture: SWNS)

Detective Constable Matthew Robinson of Kent Police described the attack as ‘disgusting and degrading’.

He said after the hearing: ‘Highton has already spent a considerable part of his adult life in prison and this case shows that he remains incapable of displaying the most basic standards of respect and decency to other people.

‘What the victim was subjected to was disgusting and degrading. Prison officers know their position can expose them to unpredictable and challenging incidents but that does not in any way provide an excuse for Highton’s intolerable behaviour.

‘We work closely with the prison service when staff are targeted in this manner and will always work to prosecute offenders.

‘I am pleased a new jail term has been imposed. It clearly demonstrates that such offences will not be tolerated by us or the courts. I hope the victim feels a sense of justice being served.’

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