Black prison officer, 49, wins £130,000 payout six years after being attacked by a racist prisoner


Black prison officer, 49, still eating through a straw six years after being attacked by a racist prisoner with a grudge against him wins £130,000 payout

  • Michael Campbell, 49, repeatedly punched in face by HMP Wandsworth prisoner
  • Prison officer suffered a badly broken jaw and said that he is still on a liquid diet 
  • He sued the MoJ for compensation and has now been awarded over £130,000
  • Judge made award after government lawyers accepted liability for his injuries 

A black prison officer who is still eating through a straw six years after being attacked by a racist prisoner with a grudge against him has won a £130,000 payout from the Ministry of Justice (MoJ).

Michael Campbell, 49, says he was left ‘unemployed and unemployable’ by trauma and injuries suffered when he was repeatedly punched in the face by a prisoner who had previously racially abused him at London’s HMP Wandsworth in November 2014.

The officer suffered a badly broken jaw and told a court that, years later, he is still on a liquid diet as he finds eating to be an ‘ordeal.’

At Central London County Court, he sued the MoJ for compensation and has now been awarded more than £130,000 by Judge Simon Freeland QC.

The judge made the award after government lawyers accepted liability for Mr Campbell’s injuries.

During a trial of the claim last month, barrister Adam Samuel said Mr Campbell had warned bosses the prisoner – referred to in court only as SD – had it in for him, but was still left alone with him. 

Michael Campbell (pictured above), 49, says he was left 'unemployed and unemployable' by trauma and injuries suffered when he was repeatedly punched in the face by a prisoner who had previously racially abused him at London's HMP Wandsworth in November 2014

Michael Campbell (pictured above), 49, says he was left ‘unemployed and unemployable’ by trauma and injuries suffered when he was repeatedly punched in the face by a prisoner who had previously racially abused him at London’s HMP Wandsworth in November 2014

He had encountered another run-in with the same prisoner days before the attack, Mr Samuel said.

The inmate had spat at Mr Campbell, racially abused him, blamed him for various things that had happened to him and threatened to kill him.

But despite telling his bosses the prisoner was a danger to him, Mr Campbell was just two days later told to unlock the prisoner to take him for food.

Mr Samuel said: ‘As he was following SD to the canteen…he looked up to see if any colleagues were nearby.

‘However, as he was doing so, SD started swearing at him, before punching him to the right jaw.

‘He continued to beat him about the face until he was restrained, causing him to suffer a serious fracture to the jaw and PTSD.’

The barrister told the judge that the attack had caused Mr Campbell ‘very significant physical and psychological symptoms.’

Claiming six-figure damages, he said Mr Campbell was left struggling with PTSD, with ‘frequent nightmares, flashbacks and disturbance of sleep.’

Inmates pictured in HMP Wandsworth Prison. Barrister Adam Samuel said Mr Campbell had warned bosses the prisoner had it in for him, but was still left alone with him (file photo)

Inmates pictured in HMP Wandsworth Prison. Barrister Adam Samuel said Mr Campbell had warned bosses the prisoner had it in for him, but was still left alone with him (file photo)

He said the injuries had robbed Mr Campbell of the career he loved, having been medically retired following the attack, and is now ‘unemployed and unemployable.’

Mr Samuel added: ‘He has not worked since his injury, has sustained serious consequences in all aspects of his life, and is completely unable to function at anything near his pre-accident level.

‘In addition, his psychiatric injury must be seen in the context of a devastating facial fracture and chronic pain which continues to remind him of his terrifying ordeal.’

Awarding a total of £130,610 in damages and interest, Judge Freeland said Mr Campbell would get £82,000 for ‘pain, suffering and loss of amenity.’

The compensation payout also includes £20,000 to pay for future care, £6,000 for past care and nearly £10,000 for future treatment. 



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