Ross Kemp Left Unable To Speak After Inhaling Spice From Prisoner’s Vape
Ross Kemp is known for putting himself in pretty sticky situations, and now he's going inside the walls of HMP Belmarsh, the notorious Category A men's prison in south-east London. In one shocking scene in the new documentary, he is even seen inhaling spice from a prisoner's vape.
He'll be exploring all aspects of prison life as part of a new two-part ITV programme, with cameras following Kemp as he finds out how prisoners and staff alike cope with the reality of high-profile inmates, extremists and common criminals living side-by-side.
As previously mentioned, viewers will also see 55-year-old Kemp take on spice - literally - amid an epidemic of the drug in UK jails.
The presenter breathed in a tiny amount of spice residue left in a vape device by a comatose inmate.
According to The Sun, Kemp recalled: "I am rarely lost for words, but as I turn to camera, I have lost the ability to speak.
"My brain has gone blank, my hands are clammy and my mouth is dry. I have just inhaled a tiny amount of spice residue left in a vape by a comatose prisoner.
"This particular version of the drug is known as Man Down - and it does exactly what it says on the tin. It is a potentially lethal combination of aluminium cleaner and insect killer, and the man who smoked it has collapsed.
"Prison officers and medical staff have responded to a Code Blue, where a prisoner has difficulty breathing or is unconscious."
The prisoner was brought round by staff, who used citrus - which can take away some of the effects of the drug.
While the prisoner shouted at Kemp to 'get out of my f***ing cell', the inmate could not remember meeting him when they met again the next day.
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"It takes me out of here for four days," the prisoner said, referring to spice.
In the first episode, head of prisoner safety Adrian Knight opens up the country's only Contingency Suite, a self-contained unit designed to hold high-profile prisoners deemed at risk of suicide or attack by other inmates.
Over the years, the space has been home to the likes of Soham killer Ian Huntley, black cab rapist John Worboys and hate preacher Anjem Choudary.
Speaking about one of the prisoners in the Contingency Suite, Knight said: "The windows are sealed so you can't get around the bars.
"[He has] his own shower facilities... It's about what we need to do to keep prisoners and obviously the person down here safe. Or to keep them from having access to people they might be able to influence in some way.
"And then obviously you've got the exercise yard, which is self-contained. Not very nice, but yeah."
Staff also told how a sharp rise in gang crime outside of prison has led to a huge increase in violence inside.
Custodial manager Jamie Scammel said: "It's all either possibly gang-related before they came into prison, or someone that they've got conflict with on another house block.
"For example the historical conflict from outside: assaults, assaults, fighting, fighting, historical conflict. The level of violence is increasing, it's just causing concern. Staff safety is obviously at risk. Prisoner safety is at risk as well."
Welcome To HMP Belmarsh With Ross Kemp airs on ITV at 9pm on Thursday 9 January.
Featured Image Credit: ITV
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