A JURY has cleared a female Greenock Prison inmate of an indictment charge of assaulting a prison officer with a metal pole.

Angela Boyle, 49 - who walked with crutches - was accused of striking the woman on the head and body with a pole or similar implement.

Greenock Sheriff Court heard evidence from the prison officer who had been urging Ms Boyle to get ready as she was due to appear at court.

The witness explained that Ms Boyle's had been left open to allow her to get showered and dressed before being transported.

She added: “We were hurrying her along.

(Image: Newsquest)

“The situation just escalated to the point where it became physical.”

The prison officer said there was a mop pole leaning against the wall next to the toilet in Ms Boyle’s cell – which was fitted with disability equipment.

She described the pole as being made of metal but ‘quite light’, so as to ensure it was not used as a ‘considerable weapon’.

The court heard that Ms Boyle picked up the pole and struck the woman with it on the morning of March 11, 2022.

The witness said: “I don’t think she meant to hit me the way she did.

“I think she just wanted me out the way.

“She was in a heightened state because she had a court appearance that day.”

The woman told the court that while she did not think the action was accidental, she was not struck with ‘any great force’.

She said: “I wasn’t left with any bruising, I was injured slightly but I finished my shift.

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“It was just a wee bump, it was a wee bit tender.”

Defence solicitor Marcell Horvath noted that Ms Boyle’s position was that she had indicated that she wished to use the toilet – which the witness had no memory of – and would have to move the mop pole to hold on to a guard rail.

Mr Horvath said: “Ms Boyle grabbed the mop pole to use the toilet and she handed it to you.

"The two of you were arguing, but there was never any assault.”

The witness replied: “Prison is already a dehumanising enough.

“If someone turns around and says they need to use the bathroom, the first thing I would do is shut the door.”

Following a trial which spanned two days, the jury returned a majority not guilty verdict.