A female custody officer who was assaulted outside a court while preparing to escort a prisoner between the court and a van parked outside in central London has died.
Lorraine Barwell, 54, was the first prisoner custody officer to die while on duty as she escorted a prisoner from Blackfriars Crown Court to a van. She was working with Serco, an outsourcing company, contracted by the government to provide security services. She was critically injured during an assault by Humphrey Burke, 22, who was to appear at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday. The victim was treated by doctors of London Air Ambulance team before being taken to an east London hospital. She remained in a critical condition after the incident and later on succumbed to her injuries.
Mr Gove, Justice Secretary reflected Ms Barwell as a courageous and dedicated prisoner custody officer who had delivered a vital public service for more than a decade. He further added that Ministry of Justice would provide assistance to the police investigation. Serco group chief executive Rupert Soames said the company was shocked to hear about Ms Barwell’s death and they would review the incident to find out how it occurred.