Prisoner wanted to teach fellow inmate a lesson, Norwich Crown Court told

Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd. Norwich Crown Court. Photo: Adrian Judd.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014
9:04 AM

A prisoner accused of the attempted murder of a fellow inmate in Norwich prison after he beat him around the head with a metal chair leg said he only wanted to “teach him a lesson”.

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Russell Ireland, 30, is on trial at Norwich Crown Court after he denied the attempted murder of Michael Cubley and an alternative charge of wounding with intent on October 23, last year.

Giving evidence yesterday Ireland told Cathy McCulloch, defending, that he did not know Mr Cubley before he entered his cell, making the door fly open and thud against the wall, before placing his hand on his chest and pushing him back against the wall.

Ireland said he thought Mr Cubley, who also rummaged through the paperwork on his desk, was taking part in what inmates refer to as “intimidation games” and described feeling “dumbfounded”.

He said he moved from being “defensive” to “aggressive” and with the “adrenalin flowing” punched Mr Cubley in the face which resulted in him “scattering out of the cell”.

The court heard Ireland, who saw Mr Cubley talking to other inmates and gesturing towards him, was left “steaming” and broke the leg off his chair.

He said he had done so to defend himself “if necessary” should Mr Cubley come back.

But with his anger having “got the better” of him, he concealed the weapon in his waistband and “went to seek him out”.

Ireland, who felt “blind rage”, said he “flipped over the edge” and struck Mr Cubley about five times.

He said he had merely wanted to “regain control of the situation” and show other inmates he could not easily be intimidated.

Mrs McCulloch asked Ireland if he wanted to kill Mr Cubley, he said: “No. I literally wanted to just teach him a lesson. There was never any intention to kill him at all.”

Mrs McCulloch asked him why, if that was the case, he told police in interview he had stated he wanted to kill Mr Cubley.

He said at that point he was “extremely depressed”, had “nothing to live for” and did not care what happened to him.

Ireland admitted ripping the sink from the wall in a segregation cell and daubing the words “Cubley must die” in his own blood.

But he said he only did this to put down a “red flag” to let other people think he was “a bit dangerous”.

He denied doing it to let people know he had wanted to kill Mr Cubley.

In cross examination David Wilson, prosecuting, put it to the defendant that he knew “exactly what your intentions were and what your aims were on that day in respect of Mr Cubley” and wanted to “seriously injure” the victim.

Ireland replied “No”.

He added: “This was about intimidating the intimidator. This was about playing him at his own game, showing everyone that I might be the new boy but I’m not going to be intimidated.”

The trial continues.

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