Sex offender gets longer in jail after attack

A PRISONER threw boiling water over two fellow inmates after they discovered from a newspaper story he had lied about why he was in jail.

Tommy Hanks was taken to Armley Prison in Leeds in July last year after he was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection for attempted rape in Huddersfield.

But he told other inmates he was inside for robbery, Alisha Kaye prosecuting told Leeds Crown Court yesterday.

However the next day July 21 some of the prisoners saw a newspaper report about his case and realised he was a sex offender.

"They were laughing at him and told him he was a liar," she said.

Hanks said he just wanted to keep himself to himself, returned to his cell and closed the door.

But he could hear the other inmates outside continuing to laugh.

Miss Kaye said at that Hanks came out of his cell and aimed a boiling kettle of water at the face of John Surtees.

"The liquid went directly into his right eye, over his face and down his back."

He could feel his T-shirt sticking to him and could not open his eye which began to blister.

A second prisoner nearby, Steven Johnstone, was also "showered" with the water suffering burns on his shoulder. Fortunately neither suffered permanent scarring.

When interviewed Hanks said he had heard them talking and discussing his case and expecting the worst treatment would follow had "just flipped." He had already boiled the kettle intending to make tea and picked it up.

Hanks, 37, admitted inflicting grievous bodily harm to Mr Surtees and assaulting Mr Johnstone.

Increasing the minimum term of his indeterminate sentence from two and half years to three years, Judge Kerry Macgill said Hanks had acted in anger after a newspaper report had "outed" him as a sex offender.

"All of us know of the status they are regarded rightly or wrongly as the lowest of the low in the prison hierarchy."