PRISON inmates who launched a vicious assault on another prisoner during a brawl have been jailed for six years. 

Rhys Hennebry and Glen Luckhurst attacked prisoner Richard Flanagan and broke his jaw during an incident in June 2020.

The pair, who had Colchester addresses prior to their time in jail, admitted to grievous bodily harm.

Chelmsford Crown Court heard Hennebry, 29, attempted to continue the assault even after prison officers intervened, with CCTV showing the him move around guards so he could strike his victim “with significant force”.

Luckhurst, meanwhile, shouted: “Flanagan should keep his mouth shut and will see what happens if he snitches.”

Flanagan died in an unrelated car accident last year.

Kate Roxburgh, for Luckhurst, argued the 41-year-old attacked Flanagan because he was anticipating an attack from his fellow inmate.

She said: “He asked the victim for a word with him, the victim then refused and walked away; Luckhurst thought the victim was going to get a weapon, and it was then that it turned violent.

“For Luckhurst, it was not so much self defence as it was defence of another.”

But Recorder Clegg KC disagreed.

He said: “I find that very difficult to square with the evidence I have read and received.”

With the assault having taken place in 2020, however, it was argued that both Hennebry and Luckhurst had served significant periods of time in jail before Wednesday’s hearing.

Ms Roxburgh added: “This has had a deleterious effect on his life because it has meant he has been unable to move on; had this been dealt with in a timely fashion, the sentence would have been served by now.”

Despite this, Recorder Clegg KC concluded the offence was so serious that further jail time was required.

He said: “This was a violent, joint attack that both of you made on a fellow serving prisoner in Chelmsford Prison; had it not been for the timely intervention of staff, I have no doubt the attack would have continued.

“Each of you have truly appalling records for violence and, for that matter, other offences as well.”

Hennebry has a string of previous convictions - the most serious being when in 2014 he was jailed for three years after admitting two counts of affray, one of which involved an attack on Jay Whiston minutes before the teen was murdered.

Recorder Clegg sentenced Hennebry to a jail term lasting three years and seven months, whilst Luckhurst received a three year sentence.

Investigating officer Detective Becky Sparrow said: “Rhys Hennebry and Glen Luckhurst inflicted a really significant injury on their victim.

“The victim showed significant bravery in speaking to us, something not easy to do in the setting he was in.

“Violence is not acceptable, regardless of the setting or circumstance and Hennebry and Luckhurst now face the foreseeable future back in prison.

“I want to thank the prison service and staff for their work with us on this case which was crucial to securing key evidence and achieving this result.”