Monday 22 July 2019
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Snoring cellmate ‘shiv’ attacker sentenced

Snoring cellmate ‘shiv’ attacker sentenced

Friday 21 June 2019

Snoring cellmate ‘shiv’ attacker sentenced


A 21-year-old prisoner, who was due to be released this summer has landed himself back in jail for a further 18 months after stabbing his cellmate in the throat because he was snoring too loudly.

Benjamin William Paton was coming up to the end of his two-year prison sentence, but will now miss his August release date for stabbing his cellmate in the neck with a ‘shiv’ he had fashioned by sharpening one end of a plastic knife with a razor to “protect himself.”

Paton - who was at La Moye for having breached restrictive orders to prevent his contact with minors due to his sexual interest in underage girls - admitted the offence last month and this morning returned to the Royal Court for sentencing.

After several weeks of “misunderstandings” between the two men and them asking to be moved to separate cells, the incident took place in the early hours of 15 January when Paton was provoked by his cellmate’s snoring. 

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Pictured: The assault took place in a locked cell at HMP La Moye.

Following several days of heated exchanges about the snoring and other matters, the pair had had “words and verbal arguments in the cell, but nothing physical” until the night in question.

Crown Advocate Conrad Yates, appearing for the prosecution, explained that the victim “was asleep on his back” when “he woke up with the defendant slashing at his throat and punching him to the face.”

Prison staff were alerted to the attack by Paton himself, who reportedly told guards: “You gone need to get me out now as I am about the smash this guy up. I have assaulted him.”

It transpired that Paton had fashioned a weapon known as a ‘shiv’ out of a plastic knife from the prison canteen by sharpening one end of it with a razor which he used to attack his cellmate whilst he was sleeping.

Fortunately, the only injuries sustained by the victim were described as “superficial” and, in conducting a medical assessment of the cuts, a doctor said: “I would not expect this injury to cause any long-term scarring or disfigurement.” 

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Pictured: The 21-year-old's prison sentence has been extended by 18 months as a result of the attack.

Making his recommendations for sentencing, the Crown Advocate emphasised that there was an element of “some premeditation” to the attack due to the making of the weapon and, although, the injury was “small” and “healed quickly”, the prosecutor warded that “given its location, the outcome could have been far more serious.”

Crown Advocate Yates invited the Court to impose a three-year prison sentence for the prison attack.

Defence Advocate James Bell, representing Paton, described the Crown’s recommendation as “excessive in the circumstances”, given that “this is a case that involved a minor physical injury.”

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Pictured: Paton appeared in the Royal Court to be sentenced for the 'grave and criminal' assault.

He highlighted that Paton had “struggled with” having to share his cell after previously having it to himself and that there was an element of “impulsivity” to the offence.

Advocate Bell also urged the Court to consider his client’s young age and his “difficult background.” 

The Bailiff Sir William Bailhache was presiding - accompanied by Jurats Austin-Vautier and Sparrow.

Handing down the Court’s decision, the Bailiff informed Paton that he will be jailed for 18 months for the assault, giving him the following words of advice: “You’re only 21, the world is ahead of you… it doesn’t have to be like this… You can change your life around and while you’re serving the rest of your sentence the Court recommends that you give some thought to that." 

Paton was then taken back into custody to serve the rest of his sentence.

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