FIVE members of prison staff have been suspended after Michael Adebolajo, one of two men charged with the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, lost two teeth when he was restrained in jail.
The 28-year-old was injured at high-security Belmarsh prison in south-east London on Wednesday, where he is being held on suspicion of murdering the soldier.
A Prison Service spokeswoman confirmed the incident was being investigated, but refused to comment on the detail of what is claimed to have happened. The spokeswoman added: “Five members of prison staff have been suspended while police investigations are ongoing.”
The Prison Officers’ Association (POA) had earlier hit out at the Ministry of Justice, claiming it had done “little to avoid sensationalist reporting” of what happened.
The union said: “The POA are aware of an incident that took place on Wednesday July 17, which involved a prisoner being subjected to restraint using approved techniques called Control and Restraint.
“Our members strenuously deny any wrongdoing and the POA will be supporting them legally and emotionally during this difficult time. The use of restraint is only used where necessary when dealing with incidents up and down the country.”
It said it will fully co-operate with any police investigation, and expects the officers to be “fully exonerated”.
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: “We can confirm that an allegation of assault was passed to the Metropolitan Police Service on July 17 by Belmarsh prison. An investigation has been started.”
Adebolajo is accused together with Michael Adebowale, 22, of hacking Fusilier Rigby to death near Woolwich Barracks in south-east London on May 22.