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Prison officer scalded in hot tea assault at HMP Perth

Perth Prison GV
Perth Prison

A prison officer was scalded with hot tea in a surprise attack at HMP Perth.

Paranoid inmate Kevin McGinn lashed out when guard Calum Jenkins arrived at his cell to serve him a meal.

Mr Jenkins was rushed to a shower room by colleagues and spent 20 minutes running cold water onto his scorched skin.

The officer had to take time off work following the attack.

McGinn, who is serving a lengthy sentence for a firearms offence, appeared via video link at Perth Sheriff Court and admitted assaulting Mr Jenkins to his injury on October 29, 2020.

He had another 204 days added onto this jail time.

Separation and Reintegration

Fiscal depute Michael Sweeney said: “At the time of this offence, the accused was a serving prisoner at HMP Perth, serving a sentence of seven years and six months.

“His earliest date of liberation was May 30, 2025.”

Mr Sweeney said: “This took place in cell six of the Separation and Reintegration Unit.

“The accused was the sole occupant of this cell.

“At around 2pm, Mr Jenkins opened his door and asked the accused if he wanted his meal. He stated that he did.

“Mr Jenkins then felt a hot liquid on his face.”

Other prison officers immediately ran Mr Jenkins to a nearby shower, where he stood under cold water.

Mr Sweeney said: “He tended to the scalded skin on his face for about 20 minutes.

“He was advised to seek medical treatment, but he did not receive any treatment and went off duty due to sickness.”

The court heard Mr Jenkins had “slight scalding” on his face, around his right eye, but it was unlikely to leave a scar.

Supportive officer

Solicitor Jack Brown said his client’s court appearance coincided with his scheduled parole board hearing.

“He has advised that he doesn’t seek release at this stage,” he said.

“Mr McGinn was in this separation unit due to issues he was having with his medication.

“At this time, he was in a bad place and he was feeling paranoid.”

Mr Brown said his client had not set out to target Mr Jenkins. “The tea was thrown for reasons he could not articulate,” he said.

“He very much regrets this and has since apologised to Mr Jenkins. That apology was accepted.

“Mr McGinn tells me that Mr Jenkins is a particularly supportive officer and he very much regrets that he became the victim of his outburst.”

Officers have ‘a hard enough job’

Sheriff William Wood told McGinn: “I take account of the fact that you were changing your medication at the time, and that you were suffering from a period of disquiet.

“But there is no excuse for assaulting a prison officer.

“They have a difficult enough job as it is dealing with people such as yourself.

“Clearly, only a further custodial sentence is appropriate.”

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