Vicious burglar who attacked victims in Hemel Hempstead with metal bars given more lenient sentence because of his part in the Bedford Prison riots

Bedford Prison riots
Bedford Prison riots

A vicious burglar, who terrified three young men in Hemel Hempstead, attacking them with metal bars, has been jailed for nine years.

David Payne, 33 of Pulleys Lane, Hemel, had denied aggravated burglary, but was convicted by a jury at Luton Crown Court. On Friday (February 10) he appeared at Luton Crown Court over a video link from HMP Bedford to be sentenced.

He was told that his sentence would have been longer but for the fact he helped prison officers during the riot at Bedford Prison last November.

Judge Michael Kay QC read glowing accounts of how Payne had assisted prison staff during the riots.

“It was a courageous thing you did,” he said.

But he also said Payne had an ‘appalling’ criminal record and had caused physical and psychological damage to his victims.

Payne, who was on licence from a sentence for a knifepoint robbery at the time of the Hemel offence, was told that as a dangerous offender he would have to serve at least six years of the sentence and would be on licence for an extended period. It would be up to the parole board to decide his release date.

Wayne Cleaver, prosecuting read extracts from statements the victims had made about their ordeal.

They had been having a party at one of their homes in Autumn Glades while his mother was away. One had been selling cannabis and Payne had been a customer at the door, who said he would come back later for a bigger deal.

But when he returned with another man, the three teenagers who remained at the party were attacked with iron bars while property was taken.

Mr Cleaver said the party host was kept separate from his friends and thought he was going to die. He said it was like a hostage situation.

Two of the youths have since been unable to be left alone and suffered psychologically. The third, who was the one selling the cannabis, felt responsible for what happened.

The court was told that Payne had a record of 67 previous convictions. He was last released from prison on licence in January 2016. The aggravated burglary was in March 2016. Despite the jury’s guilty verdict he continues to maintain his denial of the offence.