Bravery award brings harrowing memories for Durham prison guard stabbed by convict

Craig Wylde with his wife Kat.
Craig Wylde with his wife Kat.
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A PRISON officer stabbed by a triple killer brandishing a broken bottle has been handed a bravery award.

Craig Wylde, from Seaham, was given the special commendation by the prison service after he was attacked in a cell by Kevan Thakrar, who plunged the glass weapon into his upper left arm, cutting an artery.

Screaming “I am going to kill you! I am going to kill you”, the inmate, who was serving a 35-year sentence for a gangland slaying, then lashed out at Craig’s colleague Claire Lewis, 36, from Washington.

Today, 29-year-old Craig, who is unable to use his left hand and has had to undergo a series of operations since the stabbing in Durham’s high-security Frankland Prison, admitted he had “mixed emotions” about the award.

“I really don’t know what to feel – proud or upset,” he said.

“I’m proud that something I did on that day meant saving a life, but on the other hand it is something to remind me just how bad that day was.

“It has been really difficult for me. To be honest, it has absolutely broken me.

“I’ve had five operations and the doctors say that is the best they can do for me.

“The pain is going to be there forever.”

Thakrar used a 285ml glass Encona sauce container to attack prison officers Craig, Claire and Neil Walker, who all suffered stab or slash injuries.

He admitted the violent attack, but a jury cleared him of all charges after he claimed he was “acting in self defence.”

It was said Thakrar’s “state of mind” led him to believe he was going to be attacked, an account that had been dismissed by prison officers and bosses.

Craig, who is expecting to become a father for the first time in the coming weeks, said: “I’m still trying to come to terms with everything. There has been so much going on in my life.

“I’m still trying to adapt to life with a disability and I can’t even think about another career at the minute.”

Thakrar (pictured below) was jailed for the part he played in gangland killings.

The 24-year-old, of Stevenage, Hertfordshire, was jailed in 2008 for helping his brother Miran kill three men and stab two women.

He was serving time in Frankland when the attacks on the prison guards took place on March 13, 2010.

After he was cleared, Thakrar said he was deeply sorry for his actions, but was a victim of the prison system and wrongly imprisoned.

He was transferred to Wakefield prison after the incident.