Inmate accused of trying to MURDER healthcare worker at HMP Bullingdon

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A prisoner is accused of trying to murder a healthcare worker using a home-made ‘shiv’.

Aaron Gardner, 36, is said to have stabbed the woman in the neck using a shard of porcelain wrapped in a sock-and-facemask handle.

Prosecutors claim he launched the attack while alone with the woman in a medical room at HMP Bullingdon on February 18 this year.

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Setting out the Crown’s case at Oxford Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday afternoon, Anna Fitchett, for the Crown Prosecution Service said that when prison guards arrived, Gardner was accused of taking ‘swipes’ at them with the makeshift knife.

Ms Fitchett described the alleged attack as ‘brutal and unprovoked’. 

Appearing via video link from HMP Winchester, Gardner, whose address was given in court documents as the Hampshire jail, was not asked to enter pleas to allegations of attempted murder, attempting to cause grievous bodily harm with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and three counts of unauthorised possession of an offensive weapon in prison.

He is accused of having a porcelain shard wrapped in a sock and facemask to form a makeshift weapon on February 18 and 19.

The defendant is also accused of having a razor blade fixed in a plastic toothbrush handle on February 19.

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The charges of attempted murder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent are ‘indictable-only’, meaning pleas can only be taken at the crown court.

Gardner was remanded in custody to attend Oxford Crown Court on June 17 for a plea and trial preparation hearing.

The defendant appeared in court from HMP Winchester’s video link room. Flanked by two prison officers and wearing a blue jumper, bearded Gardner spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and that he understood he was being remanded in custody.

Attempted murder and wounding with intent, the two most serious charges Gardner faces, carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

Unauthorised possession of a weapon in custody has a maximum of four years’ imprisonment. There is a mandatory minimum sentence of six months for those with two or more weapons offences on their record.

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This story was written by Tom Seaward. He joined the team in 2021 as Oxfordshire’s court and crime reporter.  

To get in touch with him email: Tom.Seaward@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter: @t_seaward