A prisoner who laughed as he punched a fellow inmate and a prison officer in the face with homemade weapons, leaving his victims with permanent scars may never be released.
Thomas Faulds was awaiting sentencing for his role in a drug conspiracy when he attacked his cellmate with a knife made from a razor blade. He was later moved to another Welsh prison where he committed an identical assault on a prison officer.
Swansea Crown Court heard the 26-year-old laugh and sneer during the bloody attacks, and has shown no remorse for his actions since. Imposing a life sentence on the defendant, a judge said he did not know when – if ever – Faulds would no longer pose a danger and could be released into the community.
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Brian Simpson, prosecuting, said the first incident took place on March 29 last year when the defendant was being held on remand at HMP Berwyn in Wrexham awaiting sentencing for his role in a drugs conspiracy. He said that while the inmates were being taken out of their cells at lunchtime, the accused approached his cellmate as he was talking to another inmate and struck him in the face with a knife made from a prison razor.
The defendant was heard “laughing hysterically” as he led the attack. Prison officers standing nearby grabbed Faulds and restrained him, and the victim was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital where he needed stitches in a 15cm long wound in the side of his face. Faulds later told prison staff that if he didn’t get a single cell he would do something similar to the next person he shared with.
Following this assault, Faulds was moved to Swansea Prison where, less than three months later, he carried out an almost identical attack, this time on a prison officer.
The court heard that on the morning of June 12, a staff member was watching prisoners entering the exercise yard when Faulds approached him and struck him in the face, again with a knife made from of a razor. Mr Simpson said the officer said he felt a ‘thump’ on the side of his head, then felt a ‘warm’ sensation, and he heard his attacker laugh or sneer. The officer received first aid at the prison before being rushed to hospital with a deep wound to his face and neck that ran down to the muscle.
Faulds later said he didn’t like the way the officer spoke to him and that the day before the assault he warned his victim he was “going to need a sewing kit” .
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In a statement read in court on behalf of the first victim, the man said the assault left him traumatized and suffering from flashbacks. He said Faulds could have killed him and he feels lucky to be alive – although he is left with a permanent scar as a “constant reminder” of the day. He added that he had to lie to his young daughter about how he was hurt.
In his personal statement, the prison officer said he believed Faulds had tried to kill him the day he attacked him. He said he was embarrassed by the scar he left – a scar that will require further surgery – and that he tries to keep it out of his children’s sight as much as he can. He said it “breaks my heart” when his young daughter says she wants to “kiss him better” but he can’t allow her near the wound. The officer said the attack left him in physical and psychological pain, but he wanted the defendant to know that he had not won, had no casualties and that he hadn’t “made one” on the system.
Thomas Jake Faulds, of Sefton Road, Old Colwyn, Colwyn Bay, had previously pleaded guilty to two counts of willfully causing grievous bodily harm and two counts of possessing a bladed item in a jail without a license when appeared in the dock via video link. of HMP Whitemoor in Cambridgeshire.
He has five previous convictions for 13 offences, including a fight, possession of sharp articles, assault and battery and intimidation of witnesses. One of his brawling convictions saw him pull a kitchen knife at door staff after being thrown out of a pub, and the other saw him threaten laundromat staff with a claw hammer. In April 2021, he was sentenced to 61 months in prison for his part in a conspiracy to supply Class A drugs.
Dafydd Roberts, for Faulds, said it was clear from reports about the defendant that he had a “difficult upbringing”. He said his client has expressed a willingness to work with professionals to resolve issues in his life, including issues related to anger management.
Judge Geraint Walters called the facts of the case “truly disturbing” and noted that the defendant had shown no remorse for his actions. He told Faulds that given the nature of the attacks, it was a miracle he didn’t kill his victims, while noting “You wouldn’t lose a moment’s sleep if that had been the result”. The judge said the defendant could rightly be called a dangerous offender, and he said he did not know when – if at all – it would be safe to release him back into the community.
Faulds was sentenced to life in prison and must serve at least 10 years and eight months in prison before he can apply for his release – although it is up to the parole board to decide if he can be released and under what conditions. conditions.
Speaking after the sentencing, South Wales Police Detective Inspector Gareth Jones said: ‘This was an unprovoked attack on a prison officer who was just doing his job. As a result of Thomas Faulds’ actions, the victim suffered serious injuries that required surgery.
“I’m glad he pleaded guilty and now has to serve an additional life sentence.”
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