A PRISON officer today hit out after a convicted murderer was cleared of charges surrounding an incident that left him disabled.
Craig Wylde is stunned after a jury cleared triple killer Kevan Thakrar of all charges, despite the convict admitting stabbing the guard with a smashed bottle in Frankland Prison.
The incident left Craig, 29, needing painful surgery and unsure as to whether he will ever be able to work again.
The officer was stabbed by Thakrar (pictured below), 24, inside the jail in March.
After more than eight hours’ deliberation jurors accepted Thakrar’s state of mind led him to believe he was going to be attacked by the guards, leading him to lash out pre-emptively.
Speaking to the Echo, Craig, of Seaham, said: “We were told by the police that they might not convict on attempted murder.
“For the jury to say it was actually in self-defence due to his mental state, it’s just hard to believe.
“I’m really angry and broken by it all, there is no other way to describe it.
“I haven’t been able to go back to work since the attack.
“I feel that myself and the other two victims have been badly let down by the justice system.
“I just wish they would release the CCTV footage of the attack so people could see what happened.”
Thakrar, who claimed throughout the case he was acting in self defence and thought he was about to be assaulted, used a 285ml glass Encona sauce container to launch his attack on Craig and fellow guards Claire Lewis and Neil Walker, who all suffered stab or slash injuries.
Craig said: “As the court case started to unravel it became more about his state of mind.
“I can’t get my head around it. We did everything we were told to do by the barristers and were pretty much promised that because of the CCTV footage, there could be a conviction.”
Speaking about Thakrar, Craig said: “I don’t know if I can even find a word to describe how I feel about him.”
The wounds inflicted on Craig have left his arm partly paralysed and he is now facing his future living with a disability, unsure when or if he will ever be able to work again.
Craig said: “I’ve lost the use of my left hand now. I’ve had tendons taken out of my leg and foot to try and give my hand some grip and it’s getting the pain under control as well.
“I have good days and bad days and I’m dealing with the psychological side of thing as well.”
Craig’s wife, Kat, 30, could not believe has been left in disbelief at the verdict of the trial after the injuries that Craig sustained.
Kat said: “Craig nearly died in my arms in the clinic. It’s so shocking.”
“The whole experience has been a real strain – horrendous.”
Kat, who works as a community nurse, added: “The case became about what had happened to him.
“People don’t understand the effect it has had on us and our whole family, and that it will continue to have on us for the rest our lives.”
The Seaham couple married in July and are expecting their first baby next year.
Craig said: “I worry that I won’t be able to pick the baby up and because my meds make me drowsy, that I won’t be able to hear it cry and that because of my disability that I won’t be able to provide for Kat and the baby.”
“I’m that broken that I need to people to understand that it was a massive assault and he has taken so much away from us. I need people to know I’ve lost the use of my hand, it’s going to affect me for everything, it’s changed my life.”
A statement from Kevin Thakrar released via his barrister after the trial said: “I’m deeply sorry for the part I have played in the horror that has been my life inside prison.”