Commissioner of Prisons Gerard Wilson on Thursday met with seven inmates who protected a group of prisons officers who were under attack from other inmates at the Golden Grove Remand Yard in Arouca.
Their actions were noted and will be presented for consideration when their sentencing is to be made by the respective judges in their matters.
Wilson spoke briefly with Guardian Media on Thursday.
The Commissioner was at the time meeting with the inmates one and one as he commended them for their quick and prompt action.
Two of the inmates were identified as an “Imam” and another who is charged for a high-profile case, the Dr Eddie Khoury matter, currently before the High Court.
Wilson also confirmed that following the fracas that broke out on Wednesday at about 10 am ten prison officers sought medical attention at the hospital. He added that four of them sustained minor bruises.
“The officers are quite shaken up, but I am thanking the inmates for stepping in and doing what they did to protect the officers,” Wilson said.
However, Wilson has also launched his investigation as to what took place at the prison where a search was being carried out in the absence of the prisoners.
According to information reaching Guardian Media, there was scheduled spraying for mosquitoes and insects in the South and North Wings of the remand yard.
Over 200 inmates were sent out for airing during this time.
After the spraying exercise was concluded, a group of about 40 masked officers made their way into the North Wing block where they conducted searches.
A senior prisons officer, who wished not to be identified described this search as “illegal” and further explained that in any raid inmates are supposed to be present and before a search is conducted to secure their respective religious books, court documents and clothes.
“This did not happen, and the inmates were out in airing when they realised what was happening and that caused a bit of a chaotic scene where they began to throw missiles, plant pots at the officers and tried to get into the area to attack the officers,” the senior officer said.
“But that was when this other group of inmates chose to sacrifice their safety to form a human barricade to protect these officers even though the exercise that they were doing was questionable. The inmates said that they saw humans in distress and had to react to protect them from harm. It is believed that a bloody scene, maybe deadly attack was averted by the good and quick thinking of these inmates,” the officer added.
Following the incident, Wilson visited the prison on Wednesday where he spoke to inmates.
Investigations are continuing.
- by Rhondor Dowlat