Ford Prison riot trial set to begin

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SEVEN men are due to go on trial today (Thursday, January 12) accused of taking part in a New Year’s Day riot at Ford Open Prison.

Inmates Roche Allen, 25, Lee Roberts, 40, Thomas Regan, 23, Lennie Franklin, 23, Paul Hadcroft, 25, and Ryan Martin, 24, will stand trial at the Hove Trial Centre, after denying taking part in a prison mutiny, violent disorder and arson.

Another man, Carniel Francis, 25, will stand trial alongside them accused of taking part in a prison mutiny and violent disorder. He denies the charges.

A jury panel is likely to be selected today but the case is not due to be opened by the prosecution until sometime next week.

The trial is expected to last between six to eight weeks.

Last year, dozens of riot officers were called to the Category D prison, after trouble flared, which resulted in extensive damage to several of the prison’s buildings and facilities.