Man who tortured his own baby son is held hostage and attacked in prison

·3-min read
Anthony Smith had 12 teeth smashed out after two men attacked him with socks filled with tuna tins. (Kent Police)
Anthony Smith had 12 teeth smashed out after two men attacked him with socks filled with tuna tins. (Kent Police)

A man serving a 10-year jail term for abusing his own baby so badly his legs had to be amputated was held hostage in his cell and tortured by two fellow inmates.

Anthony Smith had 12 teeth smashed out after two men attacked him with socks filled with tuna tins in a two-hour ordeal at HMP Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey, Kent.

Smith was jailed for child cruelty in 2018 after he and partner, Jody Simpson, abused their son, Tony Hudgell, when he was just four months old at their flat in Maidstone, Kent, in 2014.

Tony, now seven, lost both legs as a result of the injuries and his campaigning with adopted mum Paula Hudgell led to a recent law change, dubbed Tony's Law, could see abusers jailed for life.

Smith, now 51, was attacked in jail by Michael Stewart, 31, and Nathan Odgers, 36, who pushed him into his cell after collecting his breakfast and beat him up.

Anthony Smith was attacked HM Prison Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. (PA/Getty)
Anthony Smith was attacked HM Prison Swaleside on the Isle of Sheppey in Kent. (PA/Getty)

The pair struck Smith repeatedly with their improvised weapons after tying him to his cell bed.

During the attack the inmates shouted threatened to "chop off his legs" – a reference to the violence Smith inflicted on his son.

They told him to go along with their hostage plan, staged in protest at being at the notorious category B jail dubbed 'Stabside' in the hope of being moved jails.

Both defendants later claimed Smith volunteered, but he denied this.

A wardrobe was pushed across the door and the observation panel blocked with toilet paper as the pair demanded to speak to a governor.

Nathan Odgers received an extended sentence of nine years and six months. (Kent Police)
Nathan Odgers received an extended sentence of nine years and six months. (Kent Police)

Initially Stewart and Odgers did not know of Smith's crimes until another inmate shouted out who he was.

Stewart, who was serving 10 years for serious violence, and Odgers, who is serving 10-and-a-half years for a string of armed robberies, then barricaded themselves in after tying Smith to the bed.

Smith was left needing hospital treatment for multiple teeth fractures and bruising after the brutal assault left the tuna tins "heavily dented".

The two-hour ordeal happened in August 2018 – just six months after Smith and Simpson were jailed over their abuse – but it would take another 19 months before the CPS would authorise charges.

Tony Hudgell lost both legs after he was tortured by dad Anthony Smith when he was a baby. (SWNS)
Tony Hudgell lost both legs after he was tortured by dad Anthony Smith when he was a baby. (SWNS)

A judge at Maidstone Crown Court said this week that the delay was "extraordinary and unconscionable" and cut their sentences by a year.

Stewart, who had links to Bedford, was given an extended jail term of eight years and five months and father-of-four Odgers, from Hastings, East Sussex, received an extended sentence of nine years and six months.

Both men admitted charges of false imprisonment and assault causing actual bodily harm.

Tony's suffering at the hands of his parents caused national outrage as his injuries were so horrific, including a hip dislocation and head trauma, the youngster had to have surgery to amputate both legs at the knee.

He has since learnt to walk on prosthetic legs and during lockdown raised over £1.2m for the NHS and the hospital that saved his life.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting