A high court judge and prison service bosses have praised a brave guard who was hurt when she confronted a thug during a violent attack at the north-east’s super jail.
The woman was escorting prisoner Easdale Campbell at HMP Grampian on September 3 last year when convicted double killer Robert Stratton slashed at his head, neck and torso using a toothbrush handle with razor blades melted into it.
The female guard made attempts to intervene and was struck on the hand with the weapon.
As Stratton was jailed for five years at the High Court in Edinburgh, Lord Armstrong told the court: “In my estimation, (the guard) deserves the highest praise for the courage displayed by her in the execution of her professional duty in seeking to intervene as she did.”
A Scottish Prison Service spokesman said: “We would echo the judge’s comments about the conduct of the staff member who was involved in this incident.
“She put herself in a difficult and dangerous situation and responded in an exemplary manner. Our staff work very hard and often their work goes unsung and we are lucky in Scotland to have them in our workforce.
“Incidents such as these underline the dedication our staff show when doing their job.”
During Stratton’s attack, Campbell was left bleeding from head, neck and stomach injuries, but managed to get hold of the weapon, and other prison officers brought Stratton under control.
Campbell was found to have a 25cm wound to his abdomen which was closed with 20 stitches, and slash marks on both sides of his neck which were treated with paper stitches.
The prison guard suffered four wounds to her right hand which were stitched.
Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC said the guard has been left permanently scarred.
Stratton admitted assaulting Campbell and the guard, and his sentence was added to the minimum of 23 years he is already serving for murdering a grandmother and killing a man.
It means Stratton, who apologised for injuring the HMP Grampian worker, will stay in prison until at least 2045.
He murdered mother-of-three Julie McCash, 43, and killed David Sorrie, 32, in knife attacks in February 2017 following a vigil among friends of Ralph Smith, 18, in Dundee.
The teenager fell from cliffs in Arbroath and his body was found in March 2017.