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Violent thug choked prison officer until he almost lost consciousness and punched another

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A violent thug who choked a prison officer until he almost lost consciousness and punched another to the head has been handed an eight month sentence.

District Judge Mark Hamill told 21-year-old Jamie Lutton that while “I don’t like the idea of you getting a free hit,” he would order the sentences to be served concurrently to the nine year sentence he is already serving because he had admitted the offences.

“I’m not going to add a period of months to years,” said the judge who warned Lutton that given his numerous convictions for violence “any court will look at that and say ‘this man is dangerous’.”

Lutton, originally from Aldervale in Craigavon but now with an address given as c/o Hydebank YOC, entered guilty pleas to causing actual bodily harm to one officer on December 22, 2019 and common assault of another four weeks earlier on November 20, 2019.

In court on Friday where 21-year-old Lutton appeared by videolink from the YOC, a prosecuting lawyer took the last incident first, outlining how a prison officer was trying to get the thug back into his cell when he “became aggressive” and attacked the officer.

He described how Lutton grabbed the officer and put him in a headlock, tightening his grip around the man’s throat “so that he felt he could not breath.”

With other guards grabbing at the pair as they struggled on the ground, the officer almost lost consciousness but was able to loosen Lutton’s grip, said the lawyer.

In relation to the November incident, the court heard how Lutton shoved a trolley into officer’s legs before pushing him into his cell, jumping on top of him and punching him in the face.

Defence counsel Conor O’Kane revealed there had been a fisher incident around the same time which had also resulted in an eight month sentence, submitting the three incidents “had been a bad patch” for Lutton.

“He has been a model prisoner since then,” said the lawyer and the court heard how Lutton had written letters of apology to the prison officers.

Lutton is serving an extended prison sentence of seven years with an extra two years on licence for aggravated burglary where he used a samurai sword to inflict grievous bodily harm on his teenage victim.

Along with three other males, Lutton set upon the 17-year-old after forcing his way into a property on Talbot Street in Newry in June 2018.

Newry Crown Court was told the gang had been drinking on the night in question and had gone to the house intent on stealing cannabis plants but when they didn’t find any they attacked the teenager, striking his arms and legs with the sword and headbutting him before stealing a £900 TV and £365 in cash.

In court on Friday, District Judge Hamill told Lutton “you need to wise up!”

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