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Violent offender attacked and headbutted jailers at HMP Maidstone is locked up for another three years

A violent offender serving time for drug dealing attacked and headbutted prison officers in front of terrified children and families during a visiting session at Maidstone Prison.

Diqueon Blackwood, 25, attacked three officers after one of them told him he could not comfort his girlfriend during a visiting session.

Blackwood carried out the attack in the visits hall at Maidstone Prison
Blackwood carried out the attack in the visits hall at Maidstone Prison

The incident happened in January and Blackwood was later charged with wounding with intent, assault occasioning actual bodily harm and assault on an emergency worker after three officers were injured during his ferocious attack.

Blackwood was serving a 30-month sentence for drug dealing at the time of the offences and admitted all three charges when he appeared at Maidstone Crown Court for sentencing on Friday, December 20.

The court heard Blackwood's girlfriend had got upset because he had been told he would be deported to Jamaica after he'd served his sentence.

Ben Irwin prosecuting said the incident, which was caught on CCTV, happened in the visits hall which was packed with families including young children.

Mr Irwin said: "He was spoken to about breaching the rules of the area and that they were sitting too close and were touching. He reached out to comfort her and kissed her hand."

Blackwood was jailed Maidstone Crown Court
Blackwood was jailed Maidstone Crown Court

As two officers, Peter Lynch and Alfie Kitchener, began speaking with Blackwood and his visitor he stood up and lunged at Mr Kitchener with a right hook.

The officer managed to duck to protect himself as others came rushing to his aid and Blackwood, who is 6ft 1ins, continues to throw punches, catching him with an upper cut.

Mr Lynch then intervened and tried to restrain Blackwood, but he grabbed the officer's head in his hands, headbutting him and kneeing him in the face and continued to rain down blows until other officers came to his aid.

Mr Irwin added: "Peter Lynch was bleeding from the head."

Another officer, Simon Knell, was also headbutted and punched by Blackwood as they tried to restrain him and it took another four or five officers to subdue him.

Diqueon Blackwood attacked three prison officers. Picture: Kent Police (25003070)
Diqueon Blackwood attacked three prison officers. Picture: Kent Police (25003070)

CCTV footage of the incident shows youngsters who were visiting their dads became frightened by what was happening and a little girl got very distressed.

Mr Lynch suffered a split to his forehead during the attack, which has left a scar, and he had to have several weeks off work.

The court heard Blackwood has a history of violent offending including affray and assault on police, possession of a knife, as well as drug dealing.

He came to Britain at a young age and grew up in the Lambeth area.

Walton Hornsby defending told Judge Philip Statman his client had been upset because he was being deported to Jamaica when his sentence was due to end on Christmas Day.

Judge Philip Statman
Judge Philip Statman

Mr Hornsby added: "He left Jamaica when he was a little boy and has no family there. The deportation order made him anxious.

"It was an appalling act of violence and was distressing for those who witnessed it.

"He is remorseful and there is no basis to excuse his behaviour. He has a dreadful record for acts of violence."

Judge Statman jailed Blackwood for three years for all the offences.

He said he accepted the attacks were 'spontaneous' and Blackwood was genuinely remorseful.

At the end of the hearing he asked that his praise for all three prison officers be passed on to their supervising officer.

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