HMP Long Lartin’s been in the press rather a lot the last two years, for various serious incidents, including two riots, the assault on its governor and four murders. Despite this, Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons gave the prison a reasonable report in 2018, saying it was functioning well despite its aging buildings and large staff cuts.
HMP Long Lartin is one of five high security dispersal prisons in Britain. It has around 500 prisoners at present but an operational capacity of 622. HMP Long Lartin holds category A prisoners, some of the most dangerous and hard to manage offenders in the country. HMP Long Lartin is unique in that around 75% of its inmates are ‘lifers’ and nearly all the others are serving over ten years.
A high proportion of HMP Long Lartin’s inmates are category A prisoners, around 125. Due to this one of the prisons chief priorities has to be managing the security of the prison. There is extremely tough perimeter security, which has contributed to much better control over the flow of illicit drugs into Long Lartin than into other jails, and this undoubtedly helps control the violence at the prison and contributes to its safety.
There is a large segregation unit in Long Lartin that can hold 38 prisoners and within the unit is a Close Supervision Centre.
HMP Long Lartin, in Worcestershire was built in 1971 as a category C training prison; it was upgraded to a dispersal prison in 1972. After several incidents including an attempted mass breakout in 1990 the prison was upgraded to a maximum security prison in 1995-1997. The segregation unit, the biggest in Europe at the time, was opened in 1999. It was designed to hold the most violent and dangerous prisoners in the UK.
In October 2017 ten ‘Tornado Teams,’ teams of prison officers specially equipped and trained to deal with riots, were called into Long Lartin to quell a disturbance at the Jail. Around 80 inmates some armed with pool cues had become violent and had forced staff to retreat. However, the riot was quickly subdued without any injuries to either police or prisoners.
In October 2018 there was a rather more serious incident where 6 police officers were injured. Once again Tornado Teams were brought in to quell the riot, this time it took over 8 hours for peace to be restored.
All six officers were admitted to hospital suffering from head injuries, two had suspected fractured jaws and one has a broken arm. Seven prisoners were put in isolation and later moved to other prisons.
Attack on Governor
In May prison governor Claire Pearson was attacked and suffered a broken jaw. Pearson had to have surgery to repair her jaw and was off work for several weeks. The attack appeared to be unprovoked and the attacker received a further ten years to his sentence.
There have been four notorious murders behind the bars of HMP Long Lartin since 2014. Subhan Anwar, a child murdered was strangled in 2013, and killer John York was beaten to death in his cell in 2015.
In June 2016, Sidonio Eugenio Teixeira was killed using a rock wrapped in a pair of socks by Victor Castigador.
And two inmates who murdered a fellow prisoner were jailed for life this year.
Dixie is a British serial rapist and murderer who was convicted in 2008 of murdering 18-year-old singer and model Sally Anne Bowman in South Croydon, London. He has 17 other criminal convictions and had been committing violent sexual acts form the age of 16. He travelled the world using a series of aliases, looking for victims to satisfy his needs. It is thought that Sally Anne was not his first victim.
Radislav Krstić is a Bosnian Serb war criminal who was the Deputy Commander and later Chief of Staff of the Drina Corps of the Army of Republika Srpska. He was arrested in connection with the murder of around 8000 Bosnian POW and civilians during the Srebrenica Massacre in 1998.
Straffen killed two young girls in 1951 and a further girl on a brief escape in 1952. However, there was always some doubt that he actually did kill Linda Bowen. Straffen spent 55 years behind bars, the longest in British legal history until Ian Brady’s sentence over run Straffen’s
Sidonio Teixeira killed his three year old daughter and was sentenced to life. Victor Castigador, a fellow inmate and convicted murderer used a stone wrapped in a pair of socks to beat Sidonio Teixeira to death in 2016.
Ian Watkins was the founding member and lead singer of the famous band ‘The Lost Prophets’. He was jailed for 29 years for 13 charges of a sexual nature including the attempted rape of a baby.
Long Lartin Prison Contact Details
The address is South Littleton, Evesham WR11 8TZ The phone number is 01386 295100. The governor is Jamie Bennett.