Prison Custody Officer dies after assault at Blackfriars Crown Court



9 Gough Chambers is saddened to learn of the death of Lorraine Barwell, a prison custody officer who was assaulted outside Blackfriars Crown Court on Monday 29 June. 

Mrs Barwell was escorting prisoners from the court to a prison van when she was violently assaulted in the courtyard of the court.  She remained in hospital in a critical condition until she sadly died in the early hours of Friday morning.  Mr Humphrey Burke was charged with grevious bodily harm in connection with the attack following a hearing at Camberwell Magistrates Court on Wednesday 1 July but could now face manslaughter or murder charges when he appears at the Old Bailey on 15 July.

Mrs Barwell had been a prison officer employed by Serco for over 10 years and it is believed that she is the first prison officer to die in the line of duty.

The POA, the Professional Trades Union for Prison, Correctional and Secure Psychiatric Workers said that Mrs Barwell’s death should “serve to remind the public and politicians of the violent and unpredictable nature of the criminal justice workplace”. 

Everyone at 9 Gough Chambers passes their condolences to her family, friends and colleagues at this very sad time.

Latest News & Events

The Dekagram: 20th May 2024

We trust that our readers have been enjoying the Spring sunshine; the team have spent their time in the sun wisely, reading cases so you don’t have to. First we noted a decision which considers the interplay between English and Scottish guardianship; secondly we read…

The Dekagram: 13th May 2024

Last week brought the news that the Australian airline Qantas and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission have agreed to resolve their dispute over cancelled flights by asking the court to impose a $100 million fine, together with an undertaking by the airline to pay…

Max Melsa appears in Court of Appeal in Re D (Children: Interim Care Order: Hair Strand Testing) [2024] EWCA Civ 498

Max Melsa represented the children, through their Children’s Guardian, in the first case to reach the Court of Appeal specifically dealing with the interpretation of Hair-Strand Tests in care proceedings. The appeal was made by the mother against the interim separation of three children from…

Subscribe to our mailing list

Deka Chambers: 5 Norwich Street, London EC4A 1DR

© Deka Chambers 2024


Portfolio Builder

Select the expertise that you would like to download or add to the portfolio

Download    Add to portfolio   
Title Type CV Email

Remove All


Click here to share this shortlist.
(It will expire after 30 days.)