Murderer held hostage in jail

Paul Knappett
Paul Knappett

TWO murderers serving life have been given further jail terms for tying up and beating an inmate who killed a 16-year-old Hartlepool girl.

Michael Banks and Derek Lomas, 28, punched and struck Paul Knappett, 36, after barricading themselves in a cell at Full Sutton Prison, near York, and telling guards: “We have got a hostage if anyone comes in we will kill him.”

Hull Crown Court heard the pair, along with Knappett, were all serving life for different murders.

Knappett was jailed for life for murder at Teesside Crown Court in 2005. He was high on amphetamines and diazepam when he stabbed Kimberley Bage 20 times at her home in Hartlepool’s Central Estate.

Wounds to her arms and hands showed that she had tried to defend herself. He was jailed for a minimum of 16 and a half years.

Kimberley’s body was found by her mother at around 11.45am on Friday, April 15, beside the settee in her terraced home in Troutpool Close.

Knappett was arrested and charged with the teenager’s murder after making confessions to his family.

They supplied detectives with vital evidence in the form of blood-stained clothing and footwear, and even the murder weapon.

He denied the offence, saying he could not recall the attack due to the amphetamines and diazepam he had taken earlier.

But, after a medical expert said the drugs could have made him violent and suffer memory loss, he changed his plea based on the evidence.

No motive was ever given for Knappett carrying out the attack, but it was said in evidence in court that he may have mistaken his victim for her mother. He was known to the family and was said to have had a history of disputes with them.

Banks and Lomas both appeared for sentence after pleading guilty to a charge of false imprisonment of an inmate at Full Sutton on December 24, 2010.

Crown barrister Stephen Welch said prison guards rushed in as they became aware of a disturbance in a cell, but the door was soon shut. It turned into a two-hour siege.

However, officers looked in through a door crack to see to Knappett had blood on him and was being repeatedly stuck by the two killers.

Officers heard one of the men say: “It has been half-an-hour now. We may as well kill him.”

Asked about what injuries he had received they replied: “We have broken his nose and stabbed him. He has two puncture wounds.”

One of the pair then told guards: “I’m going to rape your wife. If I get hold of you I am going to stab you. I wish when I first met you I had slashed your face off.”

Banks told guards: “If the governor is not here in 15 minutes I will kill Knappett.”

After Knappett was tied to the bed by his hands and feet, both men eventually surrendered. When officers burst into the cell, they found Knappett still tied, but with only minor injuries.

He had cuts and bruises and needed three stitches to his lip. He refused to give a witness statement to the police.

Defending barrister Rachel Cooper said Lomas was resigned to his sentence, saying: “He does not want me to make any remarks in mitigation.

“While on the face of it this is very serious there is thankfully a lack of serious injuries on the victim.”

In October 2005 Lomas, of Hobart Street, Burnley, was jailed for a recommended 17 years for the murder of Damien Smyth 30. Mr Smyth had been walking home from a night out when attacked in Albert Street, Burnley.

Michael Banks was jailed for murder at Reading Crown Court in December 1997.

Judge Michael Mettyear gave Banks eight years and Lomas seven years, telling the court: “On the face of it, it won’t make any difference to the release date but it is something that will be considered on release when determining his level of dangerousness.”

Both men have since been moved to different prisons.