Prisoner jailed for life for killing fellow inmate over DVD player

|News, Violent crime

A prisoner has been jailed for life for killing a fellow inmate at HMP Risley near Warrington.

Adriesse Gray
Adriesse Gray

Today, Thursday 1 August, at Liverpool Crown Court, Adriesse Gray was told he must serve a minimum of 18 years and four months in prison before he can be considered for release.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) showed that Gray, 24, who is from Manchester, killed Stephen O’Donnell, 33, on 22 January 2019, following a dispute over a DVD player.

The case built by the CPS was so strong that on 18 March 2019, Gray pleaded guilty to murder. A further charge of unauthorised possession of a weapon was added when a sharpened piece of metal was found in Gray’s cell at HMP Altcourse on 26 March 2019. Gray had been moved to Altcourse in Liverpool after the murder. Gray pleaded guilty to this charge too.

Gray had been serving a four-year jail term at HMP Risley for burglary and Mr O’Donnell was serving a five-year sentence for grievous bodily harm. The CPS said that on 22 January, Gray stabbed Mr O’Donnell after the victim took back a DVD player that had been taken from his cell on Elton Wing in Risley. CCTV showed Gray going into the victim’s cell and taking something out and putting it in a fellow inmate’s cell.

After O’Donnell had been stabbed in the chest, prisoners were heard shouting to each other and Gray said: “Everyone seen it. I given him what he deserves”. Gray later admitted he had tried to get rid of the weapon he had used down the drain of the showers but it was too big.

O’Donnell was taken to Warrington General Hospital after the stabbing but died a few hours later. Gray was arrested shortly afterwards.

Sarah Gray, for the CPS, said: “Gray has a history of violence in jail, yet claimed he didn’t mean to do Mr O’Donnell any serious harm.

“The Crown Prosecution Service showed that was clearly at odds with what he did on that day. He also claimed to be filled with remorse afterwards but that’s also at odds with what he said immediately afterwards to other inmates.

“The CPS refuted Gray's claims that the DVD player was his and that he was simply taking back his own property. He was not taking back what was his, he was stealing from another inmate.

“Mr O’Donnell’s family have been devastated by his murder and, in a Victim Personal Statement read to the court, his mother spoke movingly of how they have all now been given a life sentence. She said the loss of her son had destroyed them.

“We may never know exactly why Adriesse Gray took the DVD player and then committed such a violent act when Mr O’Donnell tried to take it back. But the effects of what he did are devastating and he is now in jail for one of the most serious offences in the Criminal Justice System.

“Our thoughts remain with the family of Mr O’Donnell and the Crown Prosecution Service would like to pay tribute to their courage throughout this case.”

Notes to editors

Sarah Gray is a Senior Crown Prosecutor for Mersey-Cheshire Crown Prosecution Service

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