Sunderland prisoner tried to murder cellmate in gruesome torture attack – while on remand for slashing his mother’s face

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A PRISONER tried to murder his cellmate in a torture attack while being held on remand for slashing his mother’s face open.

Steven Hanson used a knife to cause two deep wounds running from Michelle Hanson’s nose to ear in an inexplicable attack that left her needing more than 70 stitches.

While the 22-year-old was being held in HMP Durham, he tried to cut Steven Lindsay’s throat, frantically stabbed him in the head and body then poured boiling water over his wounds.

Blood flooded the cell floor and poured into the halls of the wing after the violence, during which Mr Lindsay pretended to be dead in a bid to make it stop.

At Newcastle Crown Court yesterday Hanson, from Sunderland, pleaded guilty to wounding his mother with intent and attempted murder of Mr Lindsay.

Court staff had requested for Hanson to be handcuffed when he appeared in the dock on the basis he could prove an escape risk.

Mr Justice Openshaw refused the application and Hanson appeared in the top security dock flanked by three guards.

Prosecutor Christopher Tehrrani QC told the court the attack on Mrs Hanson, 39, happened as she and others were walking him to the Metro station close to her Sunderland home after they had spent the day together on May 31 last year.

Mr Tehrrani said Mrs Hanson had noticed her son was carrying a bottle during the journey.

He added: “After saying something to his mother, he struck her on the forehead with the bottle.

“Fortunately, the bottle did not break.

“When recovering from the blow, she felt two sharp scratches across her face and saw blood.

“According to eyewitnesses, she was slashed across the face twice by the defendant.

“After slashing his mother’s face, the defendant ran off.”

Mrs Hanson was given general anaesthetic so her wounds could be explored and treated by facial surgeons.

She told police the attack has had a “grave impact” on her life.

Hanson was being held on remand at Durham jail’s C wing when he tried to kill his cellmate Mr Lindsay.

The court heard the men had initially appeared to be getting on well, but in the days before the attack, Mr Lindsay had asked to be moved due to Hanson’s increasingly bizarre behaviour.

It was in the early hours of July 19 that Mr Lindsay woke up to find Hanson cutting his throat using a home-made knife.

In the violence that followed, Mr Lindsay received multiple, deep slash wounds while Hanson shouted he was going to kill him.

The court heard Hanson smashed the television in the shared cell and used that, along with his home-made knives, as a weapon to cut Mr Lindsay.

When guards came to the cell door after hearing Mr Lindsay’s pleas for help, Hanson told them: “I can’t calm down, I’m not going to calm down, I’m going to kill him”.

The court heard Hanson used a piece of plastic cutlery to stab Mr Lindsay in the face and both eyes then boiled the kettle.

Mr Tehrrani added: “He couldn’t see anything and believed he had to remain silent to cause Mr Hanson to think he was dead.

“Hanson covered him in shower gel.

“Once the water in the kettle was boiled, Hanson shouted ‘I’m giving him a wash’ and poured boiling water down his back, neck and head.”

The court heard Hanson was trying to hang Mr Lindsay from a bunkbed using a noose made of blanket when the guards managed to get in past the barricades he had put at the door.

Hanson will be sentenced today.

Toby Hedworth QC, defending, said: “He simply loses his self control.”