Prisoner who stabbed a fellow inmate is found guilty of manslaughter

15/05/2015

A man who fatally wounded another prisoner in a cell at HMP Altcourse on Merseyside has been found guilty of manslaughter.

Liverpool Crown Court heard that Keir Michael, 41, stabbed Darren Ashcroft, 35, in his cell at the prison at around 11am on Friday, 14 November, 2014.

Michael had gone into the cell that Ashcroft shared with Terrence Roderick, 34, and asked Mr Roderick if he could borrow some sugar.

As Mr Roderick bent down to get the sugar he was struck in the head by Michael, who had armed himself with a thin piece of metal that had been sharpened to a point.

Roderick suffered wounds to his forehead, cheek and tongue in the assault. Ashcroft tried to get between the two men, to stop Michael but was then stabbed himself.

He fell to the floor and Michael ran from the cell.

Other inmates noticed Michael running from the cell and one of them spotted the metal spike, which shortly afterwards he passed to another prisoner to dispose of.

Ashcroft had been stabbed in the chest and he was taken to Fazakerley Hospital but died shortly afterwards.

Michael later claimed he had struck Ashcroft in self-defence and said that Roderick had tried to stab him.

At Liverpool Crown Court, Michael was found guilty of the manslaughter of Darren Ashcroft and of wounding Terrence Roderick. He was due to be sentenced on Friday, 15 May.

Rachael Barber, Senior Crown Prosecutor for Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Keir Michael went into that cell with the intention of doing serious harm.

"He had armed himself with a sharpened spike of metal and was clearly the aggressor in the incident.

"He first attacked Mr Roderick and then went for Ashcroft when he tried to intervene.

"Michael claimed he was the one being attacked and had acted in self-defence but that has been rejected by the jury.

"He has been found guilty and we hope that brings some small measure of comfort to the family of Darren Ashcroft."