Milton Keynes youth prison officer is still in coma after attack

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A young officer is still in a coma a week after he was attacked by inmates at Oakhill ‘youth prison’.

Ryan Goodenough, 21, had been in job for just three months and was still on probation.

But the Citizen understands he was on his own with a group of inmates on the facility’s Astroturf pitch when the attack happened on Wednesday evening last week.

Five youths aged between 14 and 16 have been arrested and released to other detention centres on bail.

Now Ryan’s family is demanding answers about why more protection was not put in place.

“Ryan can defend himself, but he wouldn’t stand a chance against five youths. He should never have been left alone with them,” said his dad Tim, who lives on Furzton.

“I’ve been trying to find out what happened and what went wrong, but I can’t get any answers out of Oakhill. I am furious - and very worried about my son.

“We’re just waiting at his bedside for him to come out of the coma. Until he does, doctors cannot say whether there will be any permanent brain damage.”

Meanwhile another officer has told the Citizen: “This was an accident waiting to happen because of the constant staff shortages. The inmates are not naughty children - some of them are in for attempted murder or rape.

Ryan was taken to MK hospital by a fellow officer, but doctors quickly realised the head injury was potentially life-threatening and airlifted him to John Radcliffe hospital for emergency surgery.

Oakhill youth detention centre director Sue Tydeman: “ Colleagues came to his (Ryan’s) immediate aid and he was taken to hospital. We are supporting his family, friends and colleagues at Oakhill.”

Ryan always had an ambition to be a prison officer because he “wanted to do something good for society,” said his dad. His training for Oakhill was an eight week course.

Ryan’s family were first told of the incident in a call from hospital at 7.30pm. The attack happened at 6.30pm. “No-one from Oakhill contacted us that night,” said his dad.

Ryan was put in a medically induced coma for four days following surgery to relieve the swelling in his brain. The drugs have ceased but he is still not conscious.