A inmate who slashed a fellow prisoner across the neck with a blade in the showers was transferred to another prison – and did the same thing to another man.
Both victims suffered gashes that needed to be stitched in hospital.
Jonathan Rutter then tried to claim the men had inflicted the injuries on themselves.
A judge at Swansea Crown Court said it was beyond doubt that the defendant should be considered a dangerous offender, and given an extended sentence.
Carina Hughes, prosecuting, said the first assault happened in Swansea prison in September last year and involved the man in the cell next to Rutter, Michael Breakspear.
She said on the morning of the 26th Mr Breakspear was showering when the defendant entered the shower block, reached over the door of the cubicle, and with a “slashing movement” made contact with his victim’s neck.
The prosecutor said Mr Breakspear felt a “warn sensation”, and realised he had been stabbed.
The victim made his way back to his cell – leaving a trail of bloody footprints in his wake – and he was given first aid before being taken to Morriston Hospital. He suffered a 3cm-long laceration to the left side of his neck, and had to put under general anaesthetic for it to be stitched.
Rutter claimed that his victim must have inflicted the wound on himself.
The weapon used in the assault was never found but on three subsequent inspections of the defendant’s cell on October 25, October 29, and December 6 he was found to be in possession of bladed weapons.
On the first occasion prison officers found Rutter had a pocket knife, on the second a blade melted into an item of plastic cutlery, and on the third a 4cm-long sewing machine needle fused to a computer USB charger.
Following the attack and the discovery of the weapons, 27-year-old Rutter was transferred to Bristol prison.
The court heard that January 23 this year he carried out a similar assault on an inmate in that jail called Darren O’Brien, approaching him while he was in the showers and slashing him with a razor blade.
On this occasion the victim suffered a 4cm-long gash to his right cheek that needed 11 stitches to repair, including two deep stitches below the surface of the wound, at Bristol’s Southmead Hospital.
The court heard Mr O’Brien had only been in prison for 10 days before the assault, and had only had brief contact with Rutter when the defendant had asked him if he was Irish traveller. When Mr O’Brien said he was not, Rutter told him he didn’t like travellers as he “had trouble with them in Swansea”.
Miss Hughes said that when interviewed the defendant denied carrying out the attack, and again suggested his victim had injured himself saying he was getting “stitched up” for the assault.
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Rutter, formerly of Cwm Level Road, Brynhyfryd, Swansea, but now of no fixed abode had previously been convicted at trial of inflicting grievous bodily harm with intent for the Swansea assault, and had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of possessing an offensive weapon or bladed item in prison, and to a count of unlawful wounding for the Bristol assault when he appeared in the dock for sentencing.
The court heard he has 23 previous convictions for 34 offences beginning when he was aged 16 and including robbery, attempted robberies, burglaries, criminal damage, possession of an offensive weapon, arson, possession of knives, shoplifting, and two for assault occasioning actual bodily harm (ABH).
One of these ABHs had seen him hit a woman to the head with a big piece of wood as she loaded her shopping into the back of her car outside Asda in Wigan, while the second had seen him using a leather belt to whip a woman whose feet and hands had been bound with tape, again in Wigan.
John Allchurch, for Rutter, said his client accepted he was facing a lengthy sentence.
Judge Paul Thomas QC said having heard the evidence in the trial he had come to the view that the defendant carried out the Swansea attack as an act of revenge, either revenge for something done to him or, more likely, an act of revenge carried out on someone else’s behalf. He said the Bristol assault seemed to arise from the defendant’s dislike of travellers.
The judge described both attacks as “vicious and pre-planned”, and said it was beyond doubt that Rutter should be considered a dangerous offender under the meaning of the legislation, though “ironically you are probably more dangerous in a prison setting than outside”.
The judge sentenced Rutter to an 18-year extended sentence comprising 13 years in custody with an extended five-year licence period. The defendant can apply for parole after serving two-thirds of the custodial element.