An inmate at The Mount who cut himself so that he could use his own blood to daub a death threat on his cell wall aimed at a prison officer was jailed for three years on Friday June 15th.
Prisoner Adam Righelato-Apperley cut open his arm so that he could write the words “RIP Lambert” after falling out with the officer over a “lockdown”
Around the words, he painted bloody crucifixes.
The prison officer, Ben Lambert, told a jury that Righelato-Apperley was standing in the middle of his cell and said to him: “Four weeks from now I’m out and I am going to take your jaw off.”
“He told me to read his file. He said ‘You can see what I can f…… do. See what happens to your missus.’ I think my mum was mentioned.”
The officer went on: “That’s a death threat to me – to kill me. I was genuinely fearful for my safety and my life. That was very unusual behaviour.”
The court heard Mr Lambert took time off from work because of stress and anxiety he experienced from the threats that were made that day.
Twenty-five year old Righelato-Apperley of no fixed address appeared in custody at Luton Crown Court on Friday June 15th having been found guilty earlier of making a threat to kill Mr Lambert at The Mount Prison at Bovingdon near Hemel Hempstead in November 2016.
The court was told that on November 21 of that year Mr Lambert was on duty and working on the Ellis Wing at the jail.
Mr Lambert said that because of changes that were being made inside the prison, it meant that only prisoners who had activities to attend such as education classes, the chapel or medical appointments were being let out of their cells.
He said that, as a result, Mr Righelato-Apperley was confined to his cell during a lockdown and became angry that he wasn’t being let out.
The officer said he went to the prisoner’s cell and looked in, but didn’t enter.
He said the prisoner began swearing at him and he walked away, but then heard him shout out: “Oi Lambert! It’s game over for you. I’m going to seriously f…… hurt you.”
As a result, he said he reported the threat to his supervising officers, but had to return to the defendant’s cell when the alarm bell had been activated.
Mr Lambert said the prisoner was standing in the middle of his cell “looking angry,” and he went on: “He said ‘I swear to God I am going to carve or take your f……. jaw off.’ He said he was going to f… me up.”
He said he then noticed the inmate was bleeding heavily from his arm.
“He stood out of the way and pointed to the back of his cell,” said Mr Lambert.
The officer said it was then that he saw the words “RIP LAMBERT. WRONG PERSON TO F… WITH” and the crucifixes which he said appeared to have been written in blood.
Righelato-Apperley had been acquitted of a second charge of making a threat to kill the officer in December of 2016.
Before the sentence was passed today, his barrister Gwen Williamson told the court he had been left “frustrated” at being confined to his cell that afternoon during the lockdown and “things had got out of hand.”
She said at the time he was having difficulty coping with prison and had been “cutting himself on a regular basis.”
Miss Williamson said: “He expressed his utter frustration in his writings on the wall. There was a lot of writing on the wall. It was evident that having cut himself that day he redecorated his cell with his blood in the afternoon.
Judge Lynn Tayton QC jailed him for three years and made him the subject of a restraining order forbidding him from making any contact with the prison officer for an indefinite period.
She told him: “You cut your own arm and wrote on your cell wall RIP Lambert.”
The judge said: “Mr Lambert took these threats seriously and as a result he suffered serious anxiety.”
She said his partner, partly as a result of the threats to him, had given up get job which was in the prison service.
“It’s clear the threats had a long term effect on him,” said the judge.