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Tuesday, 19 June, 2001, 00:29 GMT 01:29 UK
Heroic prisoners freed as reward
Early release can be granted in special cases
Two prisoners have been granted early release after saving the life of a prison worker who was being attacked by a boar.

The inmates were working on the farm at HMP Prescoed near Usk, south Wales, when the 32-stone animal attacked farm manager Roger Murray.

Brave actions such as these by prisoners can be justly rewarded

Prison spokesman

Mr Murray - who needed 89 stitches - said he would have died if it had not have been for their swift actions.

"I'm pretty sure I was on my way out," he said. "I remember thinking :'I'm not going to make it'."

The two prisoners, Mark Collerton, 32, and Andrew Good, 33, went to his rescue within minutes.

He was bitten by the Royal Berkshire boar called Namajara, then gored by one of its tusks, and hurled into the air.

roger murray
Roger Murray thought the boar would kill him

The boar left a seven-inch hole in Mr Murray's right leg - tearing through tendons and veins - but was prevented from causing further injury by the prisoners,

Both men were serving unrelated three-year sentences - Collerton for wounding and Good for theft - and both were granted their freedom 28 days early.

A prison spokesman said :"Brave actions such as these by prisoners can be justly rewarded.

"In this case, two prisoners saved the life of someone after a particularly nasty attack and their conduct merited this reward."

mark collerton
Mark Collerton was serving a sentence for wounding
The two prisoners dragged Mr Murray clear of the boar and tied a tourniquet around his leg, stopping him from bleeding to death. They then radioed for help.

Paramedics were called and Mr Murray was taken to hospital.

Mr Murray's wounds were so serious he had to have extensive physiotherapy and was only able to return to work last month - nine months after the attack.

As a reward for their courage and quick-thinking, Good and Collerton were granted a Royal Prerogative of Mercy by the then Home Secretary Jack Straw.

mark collerton
Mark Collerton was serving a sentence for wounding

The Royal Prerogative of Mercy dates back to the Norman conquest, but is reserved in modern times to reward prisoners for exceptionally good conduct.

There are approximately 66,000 prisoners in the UK and only about six on average are granted special remission in a year.

Another prisoner from HMP Prescoed was also granted a Royal Prerogative of Mercy recently for stopping on his way back to jail from home leave to save the life of someone injured in a motorbike accident.

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See also:

22 Oct 98 | UK
Escaped boar plague farmers
29 Jun 00 | Wales
Farmer badly gored by bull
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