(CNS): An inmate at HMP Northward will be serving two additional years for stabbing another prisoner with a broken glass light tube from his cell. Chadwick Dale (25) is already serving a six-year term for robbery and wounding, plus another year that was added in 2014 for escaping from the prison along with Steve and Marcus Manderson. Dale stabbed Marcus Manderson as he was passing Dale’s cell on the way to the shower while they were both on 24-hour lock down in the prison’s high security unit.
The court heard Monday that Dale, who has some mental health challenges, smashed up his cell before the stabbing. As Manderson passed close to the cell door, Dale pushed the broken glass tube he had pulled from the light fixture through the small opening in his cell door towards his fellow inmate, stabbing him in the side.
Manderson, who is serving a ten-year term for possession of an unlicensed firearm, suffered a significant, though not life-threatening, wound that required about twelve stitches.
The incident took place two years ago, on the evening of 3 September 2014. The piece of glass tube covered in Manderson’s blood was found in Dale’s wrecked cell, but despite the evidence, he had denied the attack and pleaded not guilty to the charge of wounding.
After several delays owing to problems with court time, Dale’s own mental health difficulties and issues with representation, the case was finally due to be heard today (5 September). But shortly after the crown prosecutor on the case, Scott Wainwright, opened the case for the jury, Dale changed his mind and pleaded guilty.
The judge handed Dale the two-year sentence after hearing from his attorney, Crister Brady, who told the court that his client had very little memory of the day in question and that there were concerns about Dale’s mental health problems.
He also noted that at the time, both Dale and Manderson were on 24-hour lock-down and had been for a long period, which had fueled the frustrations. Since then, he said, the two men were reconciled and Manderson had no interest in giving evidence against Dale, whom he had apparently forgiven.
The judge said that given the guilty plea, albeit late in the day, and the mitigating factors, weighed against the seriousness of the offence, which was aggravated by the fact it happened in jail, the shortest term he could give Dale was two years, which would be added to his existing seven-year term.
Dale, who is Jamaican, is now serving nine years. He was jailed in 2012 and had expected to go before the parole board later this year for consideration for release, but with the extra time for the 2013 jail break and now the additional two-year sentence, Dale’s release and subsequent deportation is likely to be several years away.