Prison officer scared attempted rapist was going to take her hostage in drug-fuelled attack, Northampton court hears

A prisoner officer was scared she was going to be taken hostage by an inmate convicted of attempted rape during a drug-fuelled attack, Northampton Magistrates' Court heard today (Wednesday, October 30).

Thursday, 31st October 2019, 7:41 am
Jonathan Ohare. Photo: West Yorkshire Police

Jonathan Ohare assaulted three prison officers at HMP Rye Hill after having his privileges reduced having just smoked three types of spice on April 30.

The 34-year-old, who is currently serving an indeterminate sentence at the prison near Rugby, was given a 26-week concurrent jail term after pleading guilty.

Sentencing him, the magistrate said: "What happened may or may not have something to do with the spice you used.

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"This court is used to hearing about bizarre behaviour after people take that drug, I'm not an expert but it may or may not be connected to that.

"It's not a way you would normally behave to these officers who have been helpful to you.

"There was obviously some frustration at your indeterminate sentence and having your privileges reduced - nevertheless I can't tolerate behaviour like this."

In 2012, Ohare was jailed after trying to rape a female jogger on a canal towpath in Leeds city centre in the daylight.

He was taken back to his cell by prison officer Sian McGowan after having his privileges downgraded and becoming aggresive, swinging his arms as he walked.

As Ms McGowan went to shut his cell door, he threw a stereo at her that he had taken from another cell and grabbed her by the head and hair before 'raining blows and punches', the prosecution lawyer told the court.

"The defendant kept trying to pull her back in to the cell, so much she feared he was going to take her hostage," the lawyer said, adding that she was scared for her and her colleagues' safety.

Ms McGowan suffered interal bruising to the back of her head, neck and arm, even going to hospital to have her finger X-rayed.

Prison officer Lewis Bedford was punched in the face and his colleague Chloe Osbourne got a black eye in the incident.

Ohare told police in an interview that he had smoked the spice but was sorry for what happened.

He said he never intended to take anyone hostage 'or do anything sexual', saying he saw the red mist.

The defendent told the court: "I very much regret the whole situation. I struggled to understnad why I lashed out at the people I lashed out at.

"I wish I had locked myself away and I am very sorry for my actions."