Nfld. & Labrador

Hostage traded for 2 cigarettes during HMP August riot

New details of a prison riot at Her Majesty's Penitentiary last summer were revealed in Supreme Court in St. John's on Thursday, showing that inmates traded a hostage for two cigarettes before surrendering.

Inmates threatened to decapitate hostages, kill prison guards at HMP

Police were called in to assist with a small prison riot in August 2013. Six inmates are facing charges stemming from the incident. (CBC)

New details of a prison riot at Her Majesty's Penitentiary last summer were revealed in Supreme Court in St. John's on Thursday, showing that inmates traded a hostage for two cigarettes before surrendering.

In August 2013, inmates took control of a cell block and threatened to kill hostages and prison guards.

Around 11 p.m. Aug. 5, five inmates entered a cell and came back out wearing masks.

They smeared butter over HMP security cameras and proceeded to wreak havoc on the unit; they smashed windows, flooded floors, and pulled down steel doors and ceiling tiles.
New court documents show that accused inmates traded their hostage for two cigarettes after the prison riot in August 2013. (CBC)

One inmate smashed a microwave and kept pieces of the broken glass to use as a weapon.

The accused then tried to break down a glass partition that separated inmates from the prison guards, and repeatedly told the guards they would kill them once they got through.

They insisted they had hostages, and would cut their throats or decapitate them if police tried to intervene with the riot.

The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary was called in to assist prison staff with the situation.

After a tense stand-off, inmates revealed they only had one hostage, who they traded for two cigarettes.

A short time later, around 4 a.m., the rioters surrendered to police.

On Thursday morning, Julian Matthew Squires pleaded guilty to unlawful confinement and mischief by damaging property.
Justin Hopkins pleaded guilty to mischief. Other charges against him were dropped. (CBC)

Philip James Hollihan, Justin Owens and Justin Hopkins have all pleaded guilty to mischief. Other charges against them were dropped.

Meanwhile, fellow inmates Adam Hayden and Justin Wiseman are facing the more serious charge of kidnapping.

Both Hayden and Wiseman appeared in court Thursday afternoon, but have yet to enter pleas. 

Their cases resume in court on Friday.

The accused inmates were meant to be tried together, but the legal teams changed tactics after new information was revealed.