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Prisoner who battered cellmate to death with flat-screen TV sentenced

Crime WorldBy Sunday World
Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer

A prisoner who battered his cellmate to death with a flat screen TV has been sentenced to 14 years in jail for the "particularly brutal" attack.

Jordan Palmer, 26, was under the influence of the synthetic cannabis drug Spice when he attacked 42-year-old Terrence Ojuederie, who had the bottom bunk in their cell at HMP Peterborough.

A jury at Peterborough Crown Court accepted that this was involuntary intoxication and that he had not intended to take the drug.

Palmer was cleared of murder but found guilty of manslaughter by diminished responsibility following a two-and-a-half week trial.

Judge David Farrell QC, sentencing Palmer to 14 years in prison starting from Thursday, said: "The killing was particularly brutal.

"You subjected Mr Ojuederie to a totally unprovoked and ferocious attack, punching him, kicking him, stamping on him and using a television set as a weapon to inflict serious and fatal injuries to his head and face.

"The cause of death, as the jury heard, was blunt force injuries to the chest and face."

The attack happened on December 9 last year after Palmer complained of feeling unwell to prison officers.

Mr Ojuederie was "undeniably smoking Spice" during the course of the night and shortly before the attack, the court heard.

Spice was classified as a legal high at the time of the attack but has since been outlawed, Judge Farrell said.

The defence argued that Palmer became intoxicated either by inhaling smoke in the cell or by accidentally picking up and smoking a roll-up cigarette which contained Spice instead of tobacco.

"While you were under the influence of drugs, that influence does not totally explain why you did what you did," said Judge Farrell.

He added Palmer had not completely lost the ability to control his actions, noting he washed his hands after the killing.

Palmer and Mr Ojuederie had shared a cell for around three months and other prisoners and officers thought they "got on well".

"But in the days before you were clearly upset by the break up with your girlfriend and you were annoyed with him (Mr Ojuederie) smoking Spice in the cell, keeping you up at night and banging around," said Judge Farrell.

Palmer, who wore a suit and glasses at the court hearing, had been serving a six-year prison sentence for grievous bodily harm, and Judge Farrell said he took this into account when imposing the sentence, which will run concurrently.

Judge Farrell said the family of Mr Ojuederie had shown dignity throughout the course of the trial.