Riggi ‘found screaming and bloodied after attack’

Theresa Riggi was allegedly struck with a razor blade, leaving her badly scarred. Picture: SWNS
Theresa Riggi was allegedly struck with a razor blade, leaving her badly scarred. Picture: SWNS
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CHILD killer Theresa Riggi was found screaming and kneeling in her cell with blood on her face following a blade attack, a jury has been told.

Prison officer Calum Graham said he saw fellow prisoner Angela Hamilton leaving Riggi’s room shortly after the screaming started.

Mr Graham, 37, was giving evidence on the first day of the trial of Hamilton, 40, who is accused of grabbing Riggi by the hair in her cell at Cornton Vale Prison, near Stirling, and repeatedly striking her face and head with a razor blade or similar, leaving her seriously injured and scarred.

Hamilton, of Glasgow, denies the offence, which is said to have happened on November 19, 2011.

The jury was shown CCTV footage of a corridor of cells in the unit that morning, including Riggi and Hamilton’s. Describing the footage, Mr Graham said Hamilton could be seen getting halfway down the corridor, then turning back.

He said: “She is returning and going into her own cell and then going out of her own cell into Theresa Riggi’s cell.

“She comes out and myself and Officer [James] McCabe are heading to Theresa Riggi’s cell. We were coming up the corridor because we heard screaming.”

Depute fiscal Claire Bremner, prosecuting, asked him: “Apart from staff, we can see no-one else going into Theresa Riggi’s cell apart from Angela Hamilton, is that correct?”

“Yes,” he replied.

Riggi was described in court as “a high-profile prisoner” – but the jury of ten women and five men was warned by the trial sheriff not to Google her.

Prison officer James McCabe, 56, said Riggi was “high profile” and he knew that she had tried to commit suicide “at the scene of her crime”.

But he said: “I don’t particularly look at what they’ve done before coming into prison – they are just a name and number to me.”

Mr McCabe said he ended up covered in Riggi’s blood after rushing to her cell when he heard screams.

He said: “I walked down the cells and when I got to Theresa Riggi’s she was lying on the floor. She had blood on her face and the first thing I noticed was that there was a clump of hair on her bed and that took my undivided attention.

“I then got her up on to a seat and radioed for a nurse because there had been a blood spillage.”

He added: “She was screaming. She was panic-stricken, I think.”

Mr McCabe said he did not see anyone leaving the cell or any weapon lying around. He was shown a section of long blond hair and agreed it could have been the hair he saw lying on the bed.

A manager at the prison, Kenna Murchison, told the court she went to Riggi’s cell after the “incident” and found a blade lying on the floor which she thought was a prison razor.

Mrs Murchison described Riggi as “agitated, tearful and a bit angry”.

The trial continues today.

newsen@edinburghnews.com