Plymouth man threw urine over prison officer

A Plymouth man who assaulted four prison officers - including throwing urine over one of them - has been given a suspended sentence.

Andrew Stidston of Stuart Road, Plymouth appeared at Plymouth Crown Court after he pleaded guilty to four counts of assaulting an emergency worker between October and November 2022.

Prosecutor Deni Matthews told the court that 38-year-old Stidston carried out the first attack on October 19 at HMP Exeter during the evening. He called the prison officer to his cell using the cell alarm but on the officer's approach Stidson threw liquid at him, hitting him on the arm and torso.


On October 22, at 9pm and again the officer was called by Stidson using the cell alarm. As he opened the inspection hatched Stidson hurled hot water from a kettle which struck the officer's forehead.

The third incident was on November 12 at 8pm when a female prison officer was called by Stidson to his cell. On that occasion, on her arrival, he threw his urine over her through the gaps around the side of the door.

The fourth and final incident was on November 20 at 1pm when Stidson yet again pressed the cell buzzer to call a prison officer to his door. Again, Stidson threw an unidentified liquid through the gaps around the door whereupon it hit the prison officer.

The court heard Stidson was not interviewed until May 5 where he answered no comment to all questions. Mr Matthews told Judge David Evans that Stidson had 19 appearances at court for 60 offences, including dishonesty and criminal damage.

He noted that since the incident the female prison officer whom Stidson had thrown urine on, was now more cautious about approaching cells at HMP Exeter as a result of the assault.

Judge Evans queried why the case had taken so long to reach court, raising concern that it appeared on the face of it that someone had waited until Stidson had served his prison sentence before charges were levelled against him for these assaults.

In mitigation his advocate highlighted Stidson's mental health difficulties, including paranoid schizophrenia and neurodiversity.

Judge Evans noted the "revulsion" felt by Stidson's victims, particularly the female prison officer whom he had caused "significant distress" by throwing his own urine over her.

Taking into account Stidson's guilty pleas, the aggravating and mitigating features, as well as the pre-sentence report by the Probation Service which suggested he would benefit from rehabilitation work, Judge Evans said he would pass a sentence of 30 weeks on each count, to be concurrent. He noted the "inexplicable delay" in the case, adding that while there was "considerable personal mitigation", he added that it was "wearing thin now".

Judge Evans said he follow the pre-sentence report recommendations and suspend the sentence for 18 months, ordering Stidson to partake of a Rehabilitation Activity Requirement up to 20 days.

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