MANCHESTER was the scene of the country's longest prison riot in penal history.
Strangeways prison was regarded as the "last bastion of discipline" but overcrowding led to a melting pot with a dangerous guard-to-prisoner ratio.
Who is Paul Taylor?
Taylor, from Birkenhead, was serving a three-year sentence for theft, deception and assault.
He had served two and a half years of that sentence when he decided it was time to protest the conditions inmates were having to endure in the prison.
Where is Paul Taylor now?
He began helping his father run a taxi business in the Wirral but things did not seem to work out.
Taylor was issued an injunction that prevented him from using threatening violence or "behaving in a manner causing harassment, alarm or distress."
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In 2018, he was jailed for aggressive begging after breaching his injunction some eleven times, which also included a serious robbery.
He was sentenced to a further three years in prison as a result of the cumulation of incidents.
What did Paul Taylor say about the Strangeways riots?
As a result of the riot, Taylor had an extra ten years added to his prison sentence.
Mr Taylor told the BBC: "We opened the back of the chapel doors and we flooded onto the landing.
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“The prison officers weren’t up for the fight. They just retreated.
“I wanted to locate a particular prisoner who came in that week for the attempted rape of a six-year-old girl.
“We went up onto the landing and we found the cell that he was in and we entered that cell.
“I did punch him two times and prisoners set about him with sticks. He was dragged from the cell and his face was pushed into the railings. Then he was picked up and thrown over the railings.
“He grabbed hold of the railings so intensely that it required hitting his fingers with a stick for him to let go."
Taylor claims that the intention from the outset was for the protest to be peaceful.
“I just wanted the people to know that prisoners’ treatment at the hands of the prison service was immoral.
"I said it needed a 24-hour sit-down protest in the chapel – a show of strength."
The protest then turned violent, with inmates attacking prison guards and as they overpowered them, stripping them of their keys.
After the officers retreated, Taylor started to unlock prison cells as many inmates made their way on to the roof.
"The prison service were reluctant to implement any changes whatsoever until Strangeways happened.
"We shouldn't have taken the law into our own hands, because it detracted from our root cause of the protest – conditions and violence towards prisoners by prison staff and the general condition of prisoners."
Taylor went on to say: "My family suffered, I suffered. From that point of view it wasn’t worth it.
“But I am willing to sacrifice that part of my life to know that I have helped change the prison system.”
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It’s still the longest prison riot in British history and one prisoner was killed alongside 147 prison officers who were injured.
Strangeways was re-built and refurbished at a cost of £55 million and was officially re-opened as HMP Prison Manchester in 1994 directly as a result of the riots.
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