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Prison officer Kyriacos Kyriacou burnt and scalded in boiling water attack at Cookham Wood

A dedicated prison officer has declared he is seriously considering quitting after he was scalded by boiling water in a young offenders’ institution.

Kyriacos Kyriacou’s victim statement was read out in court at his request when a teenager appeared to be sentenced for attacking him.

He suffered burns and scarring to his body after Louis Parkinson “recklessly” spilled the water on him at Cookham Wood in Borstal on January 13 last year.

The victim had boiling water poured over her. Stock picture.
The victim had boiling water poured over her. Stock picture.

Mr Kyriacou, a prison officer for 11 years, five of which have been at Cookham Wood, said the assault had a great effect on him and his wife.

“She is constantly worried about me when I am at work,” he said. “It has made me re-evaluate whether I wish to continue working there.

“There is a constant threat of being assaulted which is becoming more frequent. I am left with a scar. It is a reminder of the dangers at work.

“I would love to remain in my job. However, I have been forced to look for another job due to the strain placed upon me. I have a stressful job and don’t deserve to be assaulted.

“Although the boiling water was not meant for me, I still got hurt.”

Maidstone Crown Court heard Parkinson, then 17, was carrying the kettle of boiling water when he was involved in a melee on the landing.

Mr Kyriacou was scalded on the side of his body when he tried to restrain the teenager.

“It appeared to be reckless, not deliberate,” said prosecutor Tom Cockcroft. “He had to take compassionate leave as a result of the incident.”

Parkinson, who has previous convictions for robbery, admitted assault causing actual bodily harm.

Caroline Moonan, defending, said the teenager, now 18, of Arlington Road, Camden Town, London, had been in youth custody since the age of 16. He was released in March this year but then recalled in May.

“He realises he has wasted years of his life being in prison,” she added. “He wants to put this behind him and start afresh.”

HMP Cookham Wood in Rochester
HMP Cookham Wood in Rochester

Imposing six months youth custody, Judge Jeremy Carey told Parkinson, who appeared by TV link with London’s Wandsworth Prison: “The circumstances are somewhat unusual in some respects, although depressingly familiar in others.

“Mr Kyriacou is a very experienced prison officer. From the statement I have read from him he is a very good one.

“He is a man not simply concerned with doing his job in a mechanistic way but wanting to do what he could for people like you, to find something good about young people and encourage them.”

The judge said the offence could have been grievous bodily harm because the injury was serious.

“Much more serious still is the effect that Mr Kyriacou is seriously considering leaving the prison service because he and his family are simply not prepared for this risk of offending at the hands of people like you,” he continued.

“You should be ashamed of yourself because you will have deprived others of the benefit of a skilled and good prison officer who is very well intentioned.

“You have an appalling criminal record and are still only 18. You seem inclined to rob others using or threatening violence.”

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