Prison service left red-faced after wrong defendant brought to Ipswich Crown Court for sentencing

Shaun Webber

Shaun Webber - Credit: Contributed

Prison officials were left embarrassed when the sentencing of a man who stabbed his brother had to be postponed because the wrong prisoner was brought to Ipswich Crown Court.

Shaun Webber, of Fore Street, Ipswich, was scheduled to be sentenced yesterday morning for wounding his brother multiple times in a row over their mother. However, an administrative error at Norwich jail meant a man with a similar name was put on the prison van and transported to Ipswich.

The incorrect inmate had been due to appear for a plea hearing in a different courtroom at the same court, but on a video link from HMP Norwich.

The mix-up in Webber’s case left Judge Rupert Overbury with no alternative other than to adjourn sentencing until Monday and to apologise to the prosecution and defence barristers for their time being wasted.

Afterwards a Prisons Service spokesman said: “An administrative error resulted in the incorrect delivery of a prisoner to Ipswich Crown Court.

“Incidents like this are a rare occurrence and we will work to ensure it does not happen again.”

Webber, 23, had denied unlawfully wounding his half- brother Jamie but was found guilty after a trial in January.

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During the trial, the court heard that Jamie was left needing surgery after being stabbed in the left side of his chest, his upper right arm, his body, liver and forearms during an attack on July 6 last year.

He suffered complications which ended with keyhole surgery and spent several days in hospital, the court heard.

Jamie Sawyer, prosecuting, said the brothers’ mother had been ill in hospital and when Jamie Webber went to visit on July 6, he left because she had apparently been acting strangely and he later referred to her as “ a freak”.

Subsequently he received numerous texts and phone calls from Shaun Webber who asked to meet up with him but

then didn’t show up.

Jamie Webber went home to his flat in Sapphire Close and after returning at around 10pm he received a call from his half-brother asking to meet in the alleyway behind the flats.

When he got there Jamie noticed that Webber, who was with another man, was holding his right hand strangely and there was something glinting on the inside of his right wrist.

He then realised Webber was holding a silver metal blade in the crook of his elbow.

Webber became aggressive and struck his brother three or four times.

Jamie was laying on the ground bleeding while his brother continued attacking him, stabbing him another two or three times, the court heard.

After the attack Shaun Webber is said to have headed off towards Solar Bowl, leaving his brother bleeding heavily.

The court heard that Shaun Webber maintained it was the other man who stabbed his brother, although Jamie Webber denied this.