Watch: Strangeways: Tensions increase as prison protest rolls on

Convicted murderer Stuart Horner has entered his 49th hour of protest on the roof of Strangeways prison in Manchester.

With a crowd of around 200 onlookers outside the prison gates, Horner is still atop the metal roof, being urged on with his protest against living conditions.

Horner made national headlines when he scaled the roof of the prison on Sunday afternoon wearing just a pair of blue and yellow pyjamas.

Later that day he stripped to a pair of Manchester United boxers, thrashing at glass with a torn off metal bar and walking precariously across the rooftop.

The 35-year-old was jailed for 27 years in 2012 for his part in the murder of of his uncle.

He has shouted to negotiators that he is protesting over conditions at Strangeways – a lack of toilet roll, exercise and limited contact with family.

Read: Strangeways: Stuart Horner prison protest enters second day

Every effort so far to bring the protest to a close – including interventions by prison staff in riot gear, aerial appliances from Greater Manchester Fire, and from Horner’s own sister and parents – has failed.

In the last half-hour more police have been drafted in to the scene.

Last night the stand-off attracted support from Manchester locals, causing a commotion between onlookers outside the prison gates in which police were forced to intervene.

The protest has even spawned a Facebook group in support of Stuart Horner – TeamStuey – which has over 350 members.

Local man Andy Pratt was at the scene last night and told SalfordOnline.com: “At around 8:30pm
a small group of people stood outside the prison gates and voiced their support for Stuart through a PA system that they had brought from home.”

“The supporters were led by a woman in her mid-20s who was in control of the PA system and was leading the demonstration.

“After a short while a few of the onlookers actually got behind the Horner supporters and joined in to give their support.

“At around 11pm there was an argument in between the onlookers, of which the police had to step in to calm them down.”

The group, who call themselves variously The Party Protest Manchester and Take Back Manchester, returned to Strangeways at 2.30pm today, Tuesday 15 September, to continue their support for Horner.

Earlier today prison staff moved 93 inmates – including 30 Category A prisoners – to a different section of the jail for their own safety, as Horner continued to smash glass panels with a metal bar.

Armed units and police escorts were needed to transfer some of the most dangerous criminals to jails elsewhere in the country.

The damage and destruction continued with burst pipes cascading water down into the main yard.

Food was being passed up to the convict, with shouts of encouragement and applause coming from the ground some 80 feet below.

The road closures – Southall Street, Sherborne Street, and Empire Street – remain in place.

Officers are attempting to move supporters and onlookers away from the prison gates and tensions continue to escalate.

This piece was written for Salford Online.

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