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Frank Ball, 29, of Perry Hill, Cliffe Woods, jailed after attacking prison guard, and an armed burglary in Valley Drive, Gravesend

A martial arts expert and boxer fractured a prison officer’s pelvis as he escaped from court.

Frank Ball kicked and stamped on Gillian Gray, 54, as he demanded his “chain cuffs” be removed.

After leaping over secure railings he went on the run and committed a terrifying burglary while armed with a knife.

Frank Ball. Picture: Kent Police.
Frank Ball. Picture: Kent Police.

During the raid in Valley Drive, Gravesend, he threatened to stab a man and woman and two children, aged one and three, Maidstone Crown Court heard.

Ball, 29, brandished the weapon as he declared: “I don’t have a problem beating a child. I don’t care if you are a woman or a child. I’ll do you all.”

He also threatened to torch the flat and smash the windows if they called police.

A judge found that Ball was a danger to the public and jailed him for seven years and four months.

Under the extended sentence, he will be on licence for a further three years. He will have to serve two thirds of the custodial term before being considered for parole.

Sarah Carroll. Picture: Kent Police.
Sarah Carroll. Picture: Kent Police.

He admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm, escape, aggravated burglary and two offences of theft.

Prosecutor Eleanor Scott said Ball used full force and weight to pull the custody officer to the ground when he escaped from Medway Magistrates’ Court on May 2 last year.

He was cuffed by his wrist to her as she and a female colleague escorted him to a prison van waiting to take him to Elmley Prison on Sheppey.

Ball bragged that he was a boxer and cage fighter before knocking Ms Gray to the ground.

He said he was refusing to go to jail because his daughter was dying. He threatened to kick the officer in the head if his cuffs were not removed.

“He repeatedly kicked her as he tugged at the cuffs,” said Miss Scott. “Her colleague tried to assist her but couldn’t release the cuffs because he continued to struggle.

The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court
The case was heard at Maidstone Crown Court

“He kicked her at least eight times, primarily to the head but also with stamps to her body.”

She suffered other injuries to her hand, wrist, hip and elbow and was left unable to walk unassisted. She was in constant pain.

Six days later Ball, of Perry Hill, Cliffe Woods, forced his way into the flat in an “agitated and manic” state.

He pulled out the knife and threatened to stab the occupants. He demanded a bank card and PIN before ordering his girlfriend Sarah Carroll, 37, to withdraw cash from a nearby ATM.

Carroll, of no fixed address, returned with just £30, so Ball demanded more money and was handed another £80.

When the couple were arrested the knife was found in Carroll’s handbag. She admitted aggravated burglary and was jailed for three years.

Valley Drive, Gravesend. Pic: Google Maps
Valley Drive, Gravesend. Pic: Google Maps

Ball had a number of previous convictions for violence, robbery and burglary. He was said to have been diagnosed with ADHD two years ago.

Recorder David Elvin QC told Ball: “These were appalling circumstances. The court must reflect the seriousness of the extreme terror and harm you inflicted on your victims, particularly the victims of the aggravated burglary.

“You caused significant psychological trauma and stress. You threatened violence with a 9in knife in the presence of children and made it clear your threats were directed against them as well as the adults.

"You threatened violence with a 9in knife in the presence of children" - Recorder David Elvin QC

“In respect of the offence of grievous bodily harm, this was a serious injury inflicted on an officer of justice simply carrying out her ordinary duties.

“You used a shod foot and stamped repeatedly on her, and used the cuffs in a way that also harmed her. It was a particularly nasty attack.”

Recorder Elvin told Carroll she was involved in “an invasion of extreme terror”.

He accepted she was influenced by Ball but added: “Nonetheless, you went along with him and allowed two people and two young children to be threatened.

“Seeing young children being threatened is something any right-thinking person should not contemplate.”

Before the escape, Ball was appearing at the magistrates’ court in Chatham accused of stealing from two sixth-form students in a Gravesend alleyway on April 17.

He stole cash and a can of Pepsi Max and told the terrified girls he would have “smashed their faces in” if they were boys.

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