Inmate jailed on his 18th birthday for a group attack on a young girl complains viral video has ‘ruined his life’ and led to beatings in prison – and insists he ‘only poured alcohol on her face’
- William is inmate at Hydebank Wood in N. Ireland which houses young offenders
- Was convicted for group attack on a young girl in a seaside town when he was 17
- Video went viral but William insists he didn’t hit girl but did pour alcohol on her
- Claims he now self-harms out of remorse for his involvement in the assault
- Says he regrets what he did and has ‘got priorities straight’ since being inside
A young offender who was jailed on his 18th birthday for a group attack on a young girl has claimed he self-harms in prison to ‘show remorse’ for his crime in a shocking new BBC Three documentary.
Boys Banged Up is filmed at Hydebank Wood in Northern Ireland, which houses around 100 young offenders and suspects including those on remand. Most of the convicted inmates are aged between 18 to 21 and have committed offences ranging from theft to murder.
In the programme, radio and television presenter Stephen Nolan visits the prison to speak to inmates, find out how they got there and challenge them about their choices.
In the first episode of the four-part series, prisoners explain the process of entering prison and the psychological impact it has on them. Stephen speaks to William*, who was convicted for a group attack on a young girl in a seaside town when he was 17.
William, who was jailed on his 18th birthday for a group attack on a young girl, claimed he self-harms in prison to ‘show remorse’ for his crime in a shocking new BBC Three documentary
Boys Banged Up is filmed at Hydebank Wood in Northern Ireland, which houses around 100 young offenders and suspects including those on remand
A video of the incident went viral – and William claimed it ‘ruined his life’ and drove him to begin self-harming.
He insisted he didn’t hit the young girl during the attack, but did pour alcohol on her face. William said his involvement in the assault has provoked beatings in prison.
‘It hasn’t been easy in here for me, believe me, because of what I was in for,’ he told Stephen.
‘I would never raise my hand to a girl, ever in my life, I wouldn’t do it, I wasn’t raised like that to hit wee girls, I wouldn’t do it.
A video of the group attack on a young girl that William was involved in went viral – and he claimed it ‘ruined his life’ and drove him to begin self-harming
‘My mum was getting mails from people in Australia, Wales, saying your son’s this, your son’s that. I didn’t touch the girl once.
‘Fair enough, I poured alcohol in her face, but I did not once hit that wee girl in that video, and people are telling me I did. That video has ruined my life.’
He explained how, since he arrived at the prison on his 18th birthday, guards warned him that he was ‘under threat’ from other inmates.
William said he was attacked for the first time five months after he arrived, and it’s happened several times.
Stephen pointed to William’s scars, which he explained were a result of self-harming out of ‘remorse’ for his crime
‘I opened the door, went up to get a mop bucket, came back down and got hammered,’ he recalled.
‘I’ve had a few jumpings in here. That’s where other people beat the f*** out of you. That’s happened to me over that video… It’s been bad. It’s been really bad.
‘I was a kid when that happened, it was a mistake. People make mistakes. It’s just s*** that it went all over social media, and everybody knew about it. I was in the paper, and I started cutting myself as soon as I saw that paper.
‘It doesn’t help doing that though. I do it to show remorse for what happened.’
He added: ‘I hated what I’d done, I regret what I’ve done, and if I could go back I would have changed it, and she wouldn’t have got touched.
Stephen told how he’d noticed several other prisoners had self-harming scars, and spoke to 19-year-old Ben, pictured, who was imprisoned for criminal damage
‘I never meant for any of this to happen, and I am sorry for what I’ve done. But I’m being punished… I have grown up and I’m not that silly wee kid no more. I’ve got my priorities straight since I’ve been in here.’
Stephen told how he’d noticed several other prisoners had self-harming scars, and spoke to 19-year-old Ben*, who was imprisoned for criminal damage.
Asked about the cuts on his arms, Ben pointed to his stomach and said: ‘I tried to slice myself open. Didn’t really work out the best.’
He said it was ‘hard to explain’ why he felt compelled to harm himself, adding: ‘It feels like you’re cutting the stress out, if you know what I mean.
Asked about the cuts on his arms, Ben pointed to his stomach and said: ‘I tried to slice myself open. Didn’t really work out the best’
‘You’re opening the skin for the stress to get out of your body. It’s stupid, I wouldn’t do it now, I regret doing it because if ever I get a girlfriend, which I will do at some stage, just not at the minute, they’ll be like, “What the f***’s all that there for?”
‘That was the only thing that I knew of then, and there’s different things that I know of now.’
Ben – who said he too has been in a couple of fights while in prison – added: ‘You can’t put someone behind bars and expect them not to go mad after a bit.’
Boys Banged Up is available to watch now on the BBC iPlayer.
*Some names have been changed for legal reasons.
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