Inside Mendy’s ‘meltdown’ remand prison where inmate ‘turned boy’s face purple’

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Manchester City footballer Benjamin Mendy is being detained in the same prison where one inmate 'once turned a boy's face purple' and another slashed a prison officer's neck with a razor.

Mendy, 27, was transported to HMP Altcourse in Liverpool, Merseyside on Friday after appearing in court, where he was denied bail on charges of rape and sexual assault.

Based in the Fazakerley area of Liverpool, HMP Altcourse is a Category B prison which first opened its doors in December 1997.

The facility, which has capacity for more than 1,300 offenders, houses sentenced adults, young offenders and people who are on remand.

Violence has significantly fallen at Altcourse in recent times, from 47 incidents in June 2019 to all-time low of nine in April 2020, although that is partly due to coronavirus restrictions.

However, the prison has still seen its fair share of violence over the years.

Chris Kinealy worked as a psychiatric nurse at Altcourse for over 12 years, from 1998 to 2010. Two years ago he released a book detailing what it was like.

Entitled, My Stretch In Altcourse Prison, the book revealed intimate details of life inside Altcourse.

In the book Chris recalls a day when he found himself involved in a conversation with a "particularly obnoxious gang of young inmates".

"They were all members of a couple of infamous Liverpool street gangs, the Crocs and the Dogs," Chris remembers.

But as the men chatted about what crimes they had committed, a "very tall, well-built Ulsterman looked on".

Chris and the Ulsterman were then joined by his cell-mate, an ex-member of the Provisional IRA.

As the two men listened, one of the youngsters asked The Ulsterman: "Do you know who we are?

"We run the drugs in Croxteth, me and my mates ain't scared of no one. We ain't scared of nobody, or nuffin."

Chris said: "Quite calmly, without any apparent effort, in fact without even quickening his breathing, the big Ulsterman gripped the boy around the throat, picked him clear off the ground and held him up against a wall.

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"The boy’s face changed colour from a dirty, spotty-faced, acne-coated white to a deep purple.

"‘Are you speaking to me, sonny-boy?’ the big man said politely but the reply was an incoherent, strangled sob.

"Gently, very gently the big Ulsterman placed the little boy back on the ground."

In a separate incident in 2017, a prison officer had his neck slashed by an inmate at Altcourse.

The Category B prison boasts seven different wings, including an induction wing and a wing for ‘vulnerable prisoners'.

Also known as the VP wing, it houses inmates such as former police officers, prison officers and sex offenders.

It is alleged this where Man City footballer Mendy is currently being kept.

The Sun claim he mistakenly believed he was going to be locked up on a VIP wing with celebrities and sport stars.

Instead, it appears Mendy misunderstood prison guards after they told him he would be housed on the VP wing.

A source reportedly told the Sun: "When Mendy arrived staff explained he was going to be kept on the VP wing for his own safety.

"He had a rude awakening when he saw the cell and realised who he was going to be mixing with.

"He wasn’t happy and it was a very sobering experience for him."

Mendy is also said to have been taken aback at not being able to return to his £5m Cheshire mansion after his court appearance.

Life inside Altcourse will be a rude awakening for the Frenchman, although inmates can expect to receive some benefits.

According to The Annual Report of the Independent Monitoring Board at HMP Altcourse from 2019-2020, all prisoners have telephones and in-cell mobile phones.

Elsewhere, the prison has a fitness centre which boasts treadmills, rowing machines, exercise bikes, cross trainers and a weights room.

In the sports hall, meanwhile, inmates can take part in an array of sports including football, volleyball, cricket and badminton.

Another photo from inside the prison shows an area which looks like the visiting room.

On the walls there are Liverpool and Everton club crests alongside paintings of Liverpool and an image of Homer Simpson walking across the Abbey Road crossing.

Mr Mendy appeared in court last Friday charged with four counts of rape at his home.

Three of the alleged attacks are said to have taken place on a date in October 2020, while the fourth alleged offence was said to have happened in August 2021.

He is also accused of sexually assaulting a woman in early January 2021.

The footballer, who has been suspended by Manchester City, pending investigation, is due to appear at Chester Crown Court on 10 September.

On Wednesday, a further bail application was made at Chester crown court, which lasted about 50 minutes. Mendy did not attend court and the application was refused.

  • Premier League
  • Manchester City FC
  • Prison News
  • Crime

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