Ross MacPherson: Self Defence is No Offence

On the 24/1/2018, in Guilford Crown Court, I was wrongfully convicted of ‘Unlawfully’ wounding a prison offer at HMP Highdown in February 2017, and sentenced to two years for GBH Section 20. This was made to run concurrent to my six-year Extended Determinate Sentence (EDS) Sentence.

The jury refused to accept that I was acting in self-defence, despite being shown footage of prison officer charging into my cell in full riot gear. Having been threatened earlier in the evening by prison officers, I armed my-self with a broken piece of sink in order to defend myself, when the officers came back to carry out their threats to ‘Come in and break my arms’. Having been previously assaulted by prison staff I took these threats seriously, as far as I was concerned it was not a case of if but when they would come.

The only reason I was not seriously assaulted that evening was because of the action I took to defend myself. This did not stop prison officers from assaulting me at HMP Highdown a few days before they sent me to HMP Belmarsh. On that occasion I suffered a split eyebrow, two black eyes, numerous bruises over my body and a swollen testicle.

Whilst under cross-examination the jury sent a question to the judge asking why I did not report the threats to the ‘Authorities’, which show just how little the public understand about the situation prisoners face. I am locked in a cell, to whom and how do I report it?

The whole week the jury would not look at me, but when they came back from their deliberations, they all looked at me smiling: which proves to me that their verdict was not an honest one, based on the evidence, but based on the contempt, so-called upper middle-class people surrounding Guilford have for people like me.

I have been told I have no grounds for appeal, however I will continue to maintain my innocence and fight against the injustices and inequality of the so-called Justice system.

In Struggle,

Ross MacPherson  
HMP Belmarsh
Western Way
SE28 0EB

If so minded do write to Ross expressing your solidarity