Triple killer escapes retrial after sauce bottle stab attack on prison guard

Prison Officer Craig Wylde of , Dalton Heights, Seaham, who was stabbed by a convicted killer while at work at Frankland Prison.
Prison Officer Craig Wylde of , Dalton Heights, Seaham, who was stabbed by a convicted killer while at work at Frankland Prison.
Have your say

A PRISON guard stabbed by a triple murderer has been left disappointed after learning his attacker will never face a retrial.

Craig Wylde has been told prosecutors have decided Kevan Thakrar will not have a second trial for attempted murder after being cleared last year.

The 30-year-old, from Seaham, had to undergo a series of operations after the assault at Frankland Prison, in Durham, and is now unable to use his left hand.

Witnesses had claimed a man sitting in the gallery during the trial at Newcastle Crown Court noted jurors’ names and where they were sitting in court, prompting a probe and raising hopes of a retrial.

But the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), which investigated the case for six months, has now confirmed there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

“I’m disappointed,” said Craig. “I had a feeling this might be the outcome, but I was just hoping it wouldn’t be the case.”

Thakrar, 24, admitted the violent attack with a broken bottle on Craig and two other guards, but a jury cleared him of all charges.

He argued he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Dad-of-one Craig launched a petition calling for a retrial, securing thousands of signatures.

“I’m still coming to terms with what has happened, even after all this time,” said Craig. “I’ve had seven operations and there is the strong possibility I will have to undergo more.

“I’m taking 30 plus tablets every day.

“The pain is something I’ll just have to live with for the rest of my life.”

Mum-of-two Claire Lewis, who was also injured in the 2010 prison assault, said she was “heartbroken” by the news from the CPS.

The 36-year-old, for Washington, said she had to give up her job because of her injuries.

“I’m heartbroken by the decision and feel I have been ignored,” she said. “I have to give up the job I love and I have no idea what the future holds.

“The justice system has let me down.”

Thakrar, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, was being held at Durham’s high-security jail after shooting dead three men over a drugs debt.

Also found guilty of trying to murder two women, he was told by a judge at Southwark Crown Court in 2008 he must serve at least 35 years.

A spokesman for the CPS said: “We took the allegations very seriously, but in this case, we were not satisfied there was enough to suggest improper approaches were made to members of the jury.”

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho