Saughton siege prisoners demanded KFC

Saughton Prison. Pic: Julie Bull
Saughton Prison. Pic: Julie Bull
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TWO violent inmates in Edinburgh’s Saughton prison sparked an armed siege - before demanding a bus to take them to Glasgow’s Barlinnie jail and a KFC takeaway.

Andrew Kinloch and James Quinn were equipped with homemade weapons, known as “double whammys” with razor blades melted into plastic, when they took another prisoner hostage.

Quinn told prison officers that he had been trying to get a transfer for six months and asked to speak to the governor.

He then listed their demands that as well as a bus trip across central Scotland to Barlinnie the pair wanted Kentucky Fried Chicken, a Chinese takeaway and tobacco.

After negotiations they agreed to hand over one of their weapons for a quarter ounce of tobacco.

The High Court in Edinburgh heard that the stand-off ended when they realised there was nothing more to be gained.

Advocate depute Douglas Fairley QC said: “They recognised that eventually they would be brought out by appropriately equipped officers.”

The pair were warned today that they could face life sentences after a judge ordered that full risk assessment reports should be carried out on them to look at the danger they posed to the safety of the public before being sentenced.

Such assessments can lead to the making of an Order for Lifelong Restriction where a judge fixes a minimum prison term to be served but any future release is left to the parole authorities.

Kinloch, 25, and Quinn, 27, admitted assaulting and abducting prisoner Jason McLaren at the Edinburgh jail on June 12 this year and repeatedly refusing to release him unless their demands were met.

During the attack, threats were made against him and he was confined in his cell by the pair for about five hours.

Lord Uist told them: “You have both pled guilty to a very serious offence committed in Saughton prison when you were serving prisoners involving

the abduction of another prisoner, the presentation of weapons to him and demanding transfer to another prison and making other demands.”

The judge said: “We cannot have this sort of thing going on in prisons. Discipline has to be maintained.”

He told the pair: “Each of you has a very bad record for offences of disorder and violence.”

Quinn was jailed in 2008 for four years for a serious assault on a child and was given a further four-year period on licence. He was jailed again earlier this year for possessing a weapon.

Kinloch was jailed in January this year for 33 months following conviction for three charges of robbery or attempted robbery, two of which were aggravated as the offences were committed against a child.

Mr Fairley told the court that Kinloch and Quinn were cell mates in Ingliston Hall in Saughton. On the day of the siege they went into McLaren’s cell telling they had something to say to him.

They closed the door and Quinn put a weapon to his throat, but told him they were not going to hurt him but they had “to do this to get out the jail”.

They then contacted prison staff warning that they had a hostage. A prison officer went to the cell and saw Quinn standing behind McLaren with one are around his neck. With his other hand he was holding a blade to his neck.

The prosecutor said Quinn told the officer that they had selected their victim as a hostage because he would not fight back and they would not have to “rip” him.

Negotiators were brought in and during talks Quinn said he wanted to go to a west coast jail because he had not had visits for 10 months. Kinloch also said he wanted moved to the west.

When an officer wearing overalls and a helmet moved towards the cell other prisoners shouted out warnings to the pair and Kinloch became aggressive.

Mr Fairley said: “At one stage during the stand off a prisoner shouted falsely that removal teams were moving in which caused a flare in tempers.”

The prosecutor said that McLaren suffered only a small injury to his neck and the siege ended peacefully when Quinn and Kiinloch agreed to leave the cell and a second weapon was recovered.

Defence counsel Allan Macleod, for Kinloch, who is now in Greenock prison, said he had been transferred to the Edinburgh jail from Kilmarnock.

He said Kinloch had a close relationship with his mother, who suffers ill-health. She is from the Kilmarnock area and Kinloch had wanted to return to the prison there.

“He has been told by the prison authorities because of his actions in this matter it is unlikely he will receive compassionate leave to see his mother,” he said.

Liam Ewing, for Quinn, said: “The reasons for his involvement in this matter are not readily discernible other than a general desire to be in a west coast jail.”