Tensions Within The Close Supervision Centre

by Fighting for Justice

For many years the prison service has been deliberately provoking tensions between racist prisoners and Ethnic Minorities in a divide and rule policy decision. This has been most evident within the Close Supervision Centre (CSC) system where prisoners are most oppressed making them susceptible to manipulation by their captors, or too desperate to consider their actions. The recent murder at HMP Woodhill is a major example of this; a known severely mentally ill racist extremist locked in a cage with three others who he had wound up so much that they had openly voiced intent to kill him.

This was not the first attack to have occurred in an exercise cage at HMP Woodhill. The one before this, however, was not racially motivated. The culprit had become so desperate for a transfer that he acted on prison officers instructions to take out his rage on a prisoner they did not like. Douglas “Gary” Vinter attempted to murder Lee Newell towards the close of 2014, leaving him with permanent brain damage and disabled from the vicious attack from behind, which took place in full view of officers.

Once on the floor the real damage was done as Vinter repeatedly kicked and stamped on the head of his defenceless victim while shouting to the officer onlookers “I’ve done it now get me out of here!”. What happened next came as no surprise to those of us within the CSC. Once transferred to the CSC’s exceptional risk unit where prisoners have no possibility of mixing Vinter became vocal concerning his racist opinions openly declaring them for all to hear in ranting outbursts from his cell window. He became a founding member of a fascist gang calling themselves “Death Before Dishonour” (DBD), along with pals like Russell Oliver and gang boss Clifton ‘Yankee’ Jeter. With his position now public and after national newspapers picked up the story, Vinter was moved from the Exceptional Risk Unit in HMP Wakefield after just eighteen months there following his attack on Lee Newell. This was sounding alarm bells for anyone with half a brain on the CSC especially since new DBD recruits Jason Gamez and Matthew Tinsley came from Wakefield to Woodhill CSC where they had followed gang orders by attempting to murder Charlie Storey in a hate attack. Vinter made it to HMP Manchester’s ‘Specialist Intervention Unit (SIU) a part of the CSC system where up to six prisoners can mix at any one time. Within weeks he caused conflict, a serious incident occurred and he did not give up once officers arrived, so had to be beaten with batons and tackled to the ground causing him to drop his weapons.

Back to Wakefield, but only temporarily this time breaking his own record so that in less than six weeks since his violence at Manchester a move to the most progressive unit was on the cards. HMP Full Sutton has a CSC Unit which allows a maximum of ten prisoners to mix within the restricted environment and so is used as the last step before a rare removal from the CSC occurs. This natural life sentenced prisoner who has a history of assaulting prisoners in every location he has been in since he began serving time for the brutal sexually motivated murder of his ex-wife and a leading member of DBD was somehow deemed more deserving of a place than forty five other CSC prisoners with less violent histories. Shortly after his arrival an ethnic minority prisoner and Muslim named Star Hassan followed him there. Not wanting conflict Star approached Vinter who reassured him that he was a changed man who did not want any confrontation, gave apologies for his previous behaviour and initiated a hand shake. The next day Vinter and Star were locked in an exercise cage without any officers, just as had happened with Lee Newell. At some point an officer called Star to the gate to speak to a nurse thus leaving Vinter with the opportunity he had been waiting for.

Too scared to fight Vinter had again got behind his victim but this time all did not go to plan. Vinter called out “What’s that, health care here for Star? Good, because he is going to need them.” He then screamed “Death Before Dishonour!” as he charged punching Star as he spoke to the nurse. The impact caused Star’s head to bounce off the metal gate of the cage but he was able to dodge the second punch receiving only a glancing blow. Star managed to grab hold of Vinter but it wasn’t until he slammed him to the ground and looked to be in a position to retaliate that officers entered the cage. Star stood up not wanting to be pounced on by the uniformed gang leaving Vinter curled up in the fetal position calling for help. When he realised that Star had backed off Vinter put on a show of violent gestures and started calling out racist threats while officers separated the two. Due to this latest attack, regardless of the outcome Vinter has been transferred to HMP Whitemoor and held in isolation. A previous victim, Lee Newell is also detained there. It has been claimed that Vinter is to return once more to HMP Wakefield, although there is no guarantee how long for and looking at the past pattern it would not be long before he caused further violence. With this knowledge it cannot come down to total incompetence that, again and again, these incident are facilitated by the decision-making of the CSC Management Committee, it surely can only be from a calculated policy. It is because of cowards like this that it is difficult to argue against the existence of the CSC, however, if the protection of isolation did not follow these acts then it is unlikely they would take place. As things stand it is only a matter of time until the next report of such violence occurs. Maybe, if known racist extremists were not allowed to repeatedly mix with ethnic minorities the frequency of such attacks would reduce. This, however, would take some logical, professional thinking by those responsible for stirring up the conflict in the first place.

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