Dad who tortured his baby so badly his legs had to be amputated is battered in prison with socks filled with tuna cans

A VILE dad who tortured his baby son so badly he had to have his legs amputated was attacked in prison by inmates using socks filled with tuna tins.

Vile Anthony Smith and his girlfriend Jody Simpson were sentenced to just ten years behind bars for horrifically abusing Tony Hudgell when he was six weeks old.

Now two inmates have been jailed after striking Smith repeatedly with their improvised coshes after tying him to his cell bed in a two-hour ordeal at Swaleside Prison on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent.

Michael Stewart and Nathan Odgers also threatened to "chop of his legs" – a reference to how the appalling injuries Smith had inflicted on little Tony when he was just six weeks old left him needing a double amputation.

The two men pushed Smith into his single cell and told him to go along with their hostage plan being staged in protest at being at the notorious category B jail dubbed 'Stabside', Maidstone Crown Court heard.

But it turned violent when other inmates shouted out his identity and wicked crime – with Smith left needing hospital treatment for multiple teeth fractures and bruising following the incident on August 7, 2018 – six months after he had been jailed.

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Prosecutor Jane Carpenter told the court: "They pulled out socks weighted with full tins of tuna and began to hit Mr Smith over the head and body.

"They were encouraging each other, saying 'Hit him harder, he deserves it' and 'Cut his ear off'."

As officers tried to get into the cell and a governor and a negotiation team were called, they continued to hit and kick their hostage, the court heard.

Some of the attack was captured on guards' bodyworn camera, as well as sounds of violence and laughter, Ms Carpenter said.

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"They discussed Mr Smith's offence and said he should have his legs chopped off," she told the court.

"One said 'I should chop this guy to pieces. He deserves that at the very least'."

Officers in riot gear eventually forced their way into the cell just before 7pm and the men calmly surrendered. Smith was still tied to his bed.

"His face was extremely swollen and bruised. He was taken to hospital and found to have multiple dental fractures, bruising and tenderness to his eye socket and spine," said the prosecutor.

"He had 12 tooth extractions, four fillings and was fitted with dentures to his upper teeth."

Neither Stewart, who has spent most of his adult life behind bars with 72 previous offences recorded against him including wounding, robbery and battery, nor Odgers were charged in respect of the attack until March last year.

Dad of four Odgers, who has 45 previous crimes to his name, was serving a sentence of 10-and-a-half years for offences of aggravated burglary and firearm possession at the time.

Allen Wellington, representing Odgers, said the attack happened in an "emotional response" to learning of their captive's identity.

"There was no intention to use violence until he became aware of the nature of Mr Smith's previous offence, communicated to them by other prisoners standing outside the cell," he told the court.

Stewart, 31, and Odgers, 36, both admitted false imprisonment and assault causing actual bodily harm.


The pair were jailed for three years and eight months, and four and a half years respectively.

But as the victim of an attack in jail, Smith could now be in line for compensation as the prison service has an obligation to keep inmates safe at all times.

The child torturer is entitled to claim not only for his physical injuries, but also any mental stress or trauma suffered.

The possible taxpayer-funded payout has been slammed by Paula Hudgell, the adoptive mum of Smith's now seven-year-old son, Tony, who became a pandemic lockdown hero when he raised more than £1.6million for the hospital which saved his life and provides ongoing treatment.

Paula, 53, who lives in West Malling, Kent, said she was "horrified" that her son's abuser could financially benefit from his injuries.

"I cannot condone this violence in any way but it clearly demonstrates the disgust felt by society – and even by hardened criminals – as to what Smith did to a defenceless, newborn baby," she said.

"He and his girlfriend left Tony at death's door and with injuries so bad that his life is affected forever.

"So it's horrifying to think Smith could now be compensated for a few bruises and broken teeth.

"Perhaps if he is truly sorry for what he did, he will hand over any money he receives to charity."

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Last week, Tony's Law introducing tougher jail terms for those convicted of child cruelty offences was given Royal Assent under the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.

Smith and Simpson, convicted in February 2018 of offences of causing or allowing serious physical harm to a child and child cruelty, are due for release in August this year.

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