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Prison Incident On May 1


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Press office
May 2, 2013

Superintendent of Prisons Mr. Ian Sargent has confirmed that a prisoner, Cortez Simmons has been assaulted while in custody at the Her Majesty’s Prison, Grand Turk.

Mr. Simmons was arrested and charged in relation to the April 13, 2013 murder of Keziah Burke.

On April 30, 2013 Director of Public Prosecutions JoAnn Meloche informed HM Prison authorities that Mr. Simmons’ lawyer had told the court that his client had been receiving threats from prisoners. 

Superintendent Sargent noted that measures were put in place to protect the prisoner and confirms that additional security measures were in place at the time of the attack, even though the Prison had not been given specifics in relation to the alleged threats.

On May 1, 2013 at approximately 15:30 (3:30pm), Mr. Simmons was being escorted across the compound by three Prison Officers when they were rushed by two prisoners. During the very brief fracas they managed to assault Mr. Simmons. The situation was swiftly brought under control by the escorting Officers.

Both the Prison and the Ministry of Environment and Home Affairs regret the unfortunate circumstances, but are satisfied that clear measures were in place to protect the prisoner. It should be noted that Mr. Simmons was spared serious bodily harm because the prison did act on the advise of Ms. Meloche and had assigned escorts.

The Prison is currently in limited lock down whilst both Police and Prison investigate the matter for further action.