Prisoners rioting at the north-east’s superjail became more hostile when they heard they were being moved to Barlinnine, a court has heard.
Jurors sitting at Aberdeen Sheriff Court were yesterday told that tensions had started to ease during the night of May 13, 2014 after a group of criminals formed an angry mob against the guards at HMP Grampian.
National negotiator for the Scottish Prison Service, Joanne McKinley, told the court she had been called out in the middle of the night and asked to drive to the jail in Peterhead from her home in Edinburgh.
She said that when she arrived she started to assist with negotiations at around 2am. She said at this time the men were relaxed and that they had taken down some sheets and a barricade at the grill gate which had been erected at the start of the riots.
However she said that as soon as the inmates were told they would be going to Barlinnie they started to put up the barriers again.
Mrs McKinley was giving evidence during the third week of the trial against six former inmates of HMP Grampian, who are accused of taking part in the riots.
Robert Gill, 26, from Newmachar, Stephen Sim, 31, from Stonehaven, Michael Stewart 31, from Forfar, Dominic Jordan, 30, from Merseyside, Sandy Mundie, 30, from Aberdeen and 33-year-old George Thomson, also from Aberdeen, accept being in custody at the time, but deny taking any part in the disturbance themselves.
The court previously heard that inmates started to become rowdy following an altercation between a small group of prisoners and staff who had been seconded from other establishments across the country.
Witnesses stated the behaviour escalated quickly while prisoners were fuelled up on homemade hooch and the offenders had soon “taken over” the C section of the Ellon hall.
Witnesses also said the prisoners were not happy about how the new jail was being run and insisted they wanted it to be more like Craiginches.
When giving evidence yesterday Mrs McKinley said that while she was carrying out her discussions with the prisoners “projectiles” were being thrown at her through the grill-gate so she was not able to get a good view of what was going on behind them.
The trial, before Sheriff Andrew Miller, continues.