Thorpe Marriott baby in tears after prison accident

The family of a 9-month-old baby whose fingernail was cut in half in an accident at a Norfolk prison have complained to the authorities.

Baby Riley Steward, from Thorpe Marriott, was left covered in blood and in tears following the incident at Wayland Prison, near Thetford.

His mother Rachel Lambert, 22, said that it happened in the visiting area after they had been to see her ex-partner Colin Steward, who is serving time for motoring offences.

She said: 'When we left the visiting area Riley was going to sleep and he was resting his head on his nanny's shoulder.

'For the visit both Colin's mother, Gerry Steward and myself had to put on paper wristbands.

'One of the prison officers said she was going to cut the wristband off nanny's arm, and nanny told her to wait a minute, because Riley was in the way, as his right hand was laying on top of the wristband.

'But the officer went ahead using this safety knife and it cut through Riley's middle fingernail. Nanny had to pull Riley's finger from the knife. It bled immediately and Riley was screaming.'

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The family took Riley to A&E at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital where they were told that he would need plastic surgery the following day.

However, the next morning another plastic surgeon told them at the hospital that the risk of giving such a young baby an anaesthetic outweighed the good that an operation would achieve.

Riley had been given antibiotics at A&E and he was now given steroid strips to cover his fingernail but his mother said that, as he was now crawling, it was hard to keep them on.

Ms Lambert added: 'We have been told that hopefully the fingernail will grow normally, but we have to keep an eye on it. I have written a complaint letter to the prison.'

Riley's grandmother Gerry Steward, from North Earlham, confirmed that the baby was cuddling her when it happened.

She said: 'I told them to wait a minute before cutting my wristband off, as Riley's middle finger was lying on top of my wristband. But it went straight through his fingernail. Blood was pouring out.'

The prison visit took place on the afternoon of Friday, July 22.

A Prison Service spokesman said: 'We can confirm that a baby received a small nick when its security tag was removed on Friday, July 22 on the way out of HMP Wayland. The nick was treated with a plaster at the scene.'

Have you recently been involved in an accident in Norwich? Call reporter David Bale on 01603 772427 or email