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Inverness inmate attacked officers at city prison

By Ali Morrison

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The inmates wasn't coping well with prison life at the time, the court was told.
The inmates wasn't coping well with prison life at the time, the court was told.

Prison officers were attacked by an inmate who began to trash his cell because he "wasn't coping" with life inside.

Inverness Sheriff Court heard that staff in riot gear were called to Michael Stewart's cell on March 4, 2022 when he began destroying property there.

Fiscal depute Victoria Silver told Sheriff Eilidh Macdonald: "He began smashing up his cell and said he was in possession of a weapon.

"Prison officers were instructed to enter the cell and restrain him. They were kitted out in Personal Protection Equipment (PPE), helmets and shields. He threw a light fitting at them and then was punching and kicking out.

"One prison officer was repeatedly punched but was not injured due to her wearing PPE."

Stewart (27) admitted malicious damage and assault.

Defence solicitor Willie Young said: "He was struggling with prison conditions at the time. He accepts his conduct was inappropriate."

Mr Young added that his client was currently serving a sentence for breaching a community payback order and his earliest release date was January 31 next year.

He asked the sheriff not to impose a jail sentence which would interfere with that date.

Jailing Stewart for five months, to start immediately, Sheriff Macdonald told him: "It must have been a very frightening experience, even for the professional officers."

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