Mum slams prison after inmate son slashed four times across face

A devastated mum has slammed a local prison after her inmate son was slashed across his face and needed around 1000 stitches following a jail brawl.

Rhian Thomas is now petrified for her convict son Callum Thomas's safety after he was one of three prisoners taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries after a fight at the Bridgend jail.

The brawl happened shortly before a riot involving around 20 prisoners broke out but G4S who run Parc, the prison, claim the two incidents were unrelated.

Parc is already under heavy scrutiny after 10 sudden inmate deaths in just over three months — including at least four deaths thought to be drug-related — and allegations of rampant drug dealing and violence, report Wales Online.

Ms Thomas, 43, said an inmate used a flick knife to slash her son four times to the face, a detail that G4S also does not dispute when asked.

She claims he was cut from his right elbow down to his wrist, causing ligament and tendon damage which has left him unable to use his right hand.

The mum has been unable to sleep since learning of her son's injuries and feels "terrified" for his safety in the prison.

She said: "Callum's face is destroyed. One of the cuts is from his ear to his mouth. He's very depressed, he's in pain and he's scared. He told me, 'I need to get out of this jail, Mam.'"

Callum Thomas was sentenced to 13 years in prison in 2021 after being convicted by a jury of causing grievous bodily harm with intent and having an offensive weapon, a baseball bat.

The attack left the victim, Adam Harcombe, disabled. Ms Thomas says her son recognises he seriously hurt Mr Harcombe but wants to "go forward" in his life." The fight on Friday involved a third prisoner as well as Callum Thomas and the inmate who had a flick knife.

It is understood all three were taken to hospital and the knife incident happened shortly before the riot, which started at around 4.30pm in a different unit of the same wing, and involved prisoners flipping over ping pong tables and pouring cooking oil onto the floor.

Ms Thomas claims that the riot was sparked in part by inmates' anger over the knife attack and that her son is "adamant" the blade was brought into the prison by a staff member. G4S said there was no connection between the disorder involving 20 prisoners and the knife incident involving the three men.

Rhian Thomas told us her son was in surgery for around five hours before being transferred back to Parc prison at around 9pm on Saturday. His mum says he received around 1,000 stitches, mostly to his face, which G4S also does not dispute.

She said slashes ran from his ear to his mouth and to the top of his neck. Ms Thomas added that her son has lost movement in his right hand but this is expected to return with physiotherapy.

Ms Thomas wants her son to be moved out of Parc immediately. She said: "Callum's told me that since he's been in there, it's got a lot worse. It's full of drugs, the guards are taking drugs in and supplying prisoners and earning money from it.

"I worry he will never come out, and he'll end up dead or really disabled. I've never known a prison like it."

The mum slammed prisons minister Edward Argar's recent claim that Parc is "safe" and "well-run". She said: "It's run by people who are not trained properly, they run it like a zoo, treating prisoners not like they're people but like they're animals.

"I think G4s should have their contract taken away. They've done enough damage to families. It's despicable."

The rammy on Friday led to the Prison and Probation Service sending a squad of elite prison officers with riot shields and dogs — into the jail but reportedly all prisoners were under control and in their cells by the time these officers arrived.

A spokesman for G4S said: "Our hardworking staff swiftly resolved one short-lived incident and a completely unrelated altercation between three prisoners on Friday.

"We have robust security measures in place to prevent contraband entering the prison and do random and intelligent-led searches.

“Frontline prison officers across the UK provide an essential public service often in very challenging environments. Our dedicated custody officers continue to care for prisoners in Parc to a high standard..

"We are actively tackling the multiple ways that drugs enter the prison from the wider community while continuously strengthening our security measures to protect prisoners from these dangerous substances."

A South Wales Police spokesman said the force is investigating "three assaults involving serving prisoners" that happened on Friday.

"None of the injuries sustained are life-threatening. No arrests have been made at this time with the investigation ongoing and in its early stages.”

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