A SIX-HOUR riot was a deliberate attempt to overthrow prison authorities, a court heard.

Specialist Tornado Team prison officers were called in to regain control of HMP Lewes after five inmates ran amok on October 29, 2016.

The ringleader threatened to gouge the eyes of prison staff with a pool cue, the court heard.

Cell doors were smashed, cells flooded and a staff office ransacked after prison staff lost control.

The five men are charged with prison mutiny, a jury at Hove Crown Court was told.

Ross MacPherson and Steven Goodwin were the instigators and David Carlin, John Udy and Shane Simpson joined in, the court heard.

Kriston Berlevy for the Crown said the mutiny started after the morning recreation session for prisoners on C Wing at the jail, which holds 690 inmates.

“A prison mutiny is an open rebellion against the proper, lawful authorities,” Mr Berlevy said.

“A mutiny is more than just a refusal to obey orders. At about 10am, these defendants refused to go back to their cells when they were instructed to by staff. Mr MacPherson, who had been lying on a pool table, refused to hand back a cue.

“He said, ‘if I give it back to you, I’ll be hitting you round the head with it’.

“There was no co-

operation and the atmosphere was becoming heated, the defendants were becoming aggressive and volatile. MacPerson began banging the cue on the ground and Simpson, who was on crutches, started banging his crutches.

“MacPherson said he would gouge their eyes out with the cue.

“He encouraged other inmates to join in.

“He is and was the instigator,” Mr Berlevy said.

“He started to smash the small glass viewing panes in each cell door with the pool cue, that’s when things quickly escalated.”

He said Mr MacPherson encouraged other prisoners to flood their cells.

“Mr Goodwin grabbed a table leg and started smashing and destroying anything around him,” he added.

“The decision was taken to withdraw all prison staff from C Wing. These five were left outside their cells, unsupervised.

“They proceeded to smash anything and everything they could on every floor of C Wing.

“The damage was very extensive including a staff office,” Mr Berlevy said.

The pool table was eventually thrown from a landing and the smashed cue later discovered in the destroyed staff office.

Goodwin smashed every light fitting on the wing, Mr Berlevy said.

A video was shown to the jury recorded by a police officer inspecting the destruction to C Wing.

The 20-minute film, recorded soon after the Tornado Team regained control of the wing, showed floors strewn with broken glass and water from flooded cells.

The pool table and table football found on the landing could be seen as well as extensive damage to offices and communal shower areas.

As a female officer walks each landing on the wing, prisoners still locked in

their cells can be heard shouting at her over the sound of alarms.

A staff kitchen area was also ransacked and the glass in microwave ovens smashed, the court heard.

Damage to the wing, which had a capacity for 139 inmates, was so extensive it had to be closed with all the prisoners moved to other jails.

Mr Berlevy said: “They demonstrated a common purpose, a deliberate mindset to overthrow the legitimate authority of the prison.

“The others joined in and they were complicit.

“The prosecution say all of them were in it together.”

Ross MacPherson, 28, currently of HM Prison Belmarsh, Steven Goodwin, 29, of Fairlight Road, Hastings, Shane Simpson, 29, of Arundel Road, Totton, Southampton, John Udy, 38, of Leominster Road, Portsmouth, and David Carlin, 26, of Tuxford Road, Kirton, Nottinghamshire deny prison mutiny.

Goodwin and MacPherson pleaded guilty to damaging property.

The trial continues.