A prison officer at HMP Thameside who kicked his attacker in the head has pleaded guilty to assault. 

Isa Bangura, 34, admitted that he used excessive force in self-defence after he was attacked by inmate Emmanuel Nyeko on December 4, 2020. 

“You opened the cell door of prisoner Mr Nyeko to bring him his dinner. As you opened the door Mr Nyeko threw a punch at you and you were bleeding from the mouth,” Mr Recorder Haythorne told Bangura. 

Bangura defended himself with punches before Nyeko was restrained by other prison officers. 

While Nyeko was being restrained Bangura then kicked him twice, with one of the kicks causing a laceration to the prisoner’s head. 

Bangura pleaded guilty to assault by beating and appeared at Woolwich Crown Court for sentencing on Tuesday (August 1). 

In the basis of his plea Bangura said he had a genuine belief that the defendant had a weapon and that he was acting in excessive self-defence. 

‘Lack of support’ 


The day after the incident when he was interviewed Bangura said he wishes he could say sorry to the prisoner and that he “doesn’t recognise who he was for those 30 seconds”. 

“Mr Bangura wants me to emphasise that this could have been prevented if he had been given the right support,” the defendant’s barrister said. 

The court heard that Bangura had been experiencing difficult personal circumstances and would have wished to have taken a day off work. However, he claims that he was told he couldn’t take any further time off. 

“That’s why he felt he had to go to work, because he didn’t want to lose his job and he was on a final warning,” the court was told. 

The prison officer said he had also been experiencing difficult circumstances at work, including being attacked by another prisoner just days before this incident. 

Bangura also said that a former inmate who had repeatedly turned up at the prison to threaten him had recently been re-admitted to the prison, heightening his fears for his safety. 

“I had been through it before and couldn’t control it, that split second I went out of character,” Bangura said. 

Community order 


The court heard that Bangura’s life has been at a standstill since the incident. 

He is no longer a prison officer and he couldn’t get a job with Transport for London because he failed employment checks due to this conviction. 

Judge Haythorne sentenced Bangura to a 12-month community order, including 10 days of rehabilitation and an eight-week curfew.