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Prison Custody Officer dies after assault at Blackfriars Crown Court

News | Fri 3rd Jul, 2015

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.

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