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Rioting lags demand women's tennis

Violently protest Wimbledon TV blackout

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Prison inmates deprived of the viewing pleasure of watching Vera Zvonareva and Kim Clijsters mixing it up at Wimbledon earlier this year responded with a quick riot, the Telegraph reports.

Thirty-two lags at Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution in Rochester, Kent, were none too pleased when screws declared their recreation time over and pulled the plug on the TV just as the women's quarter final kicked off on 29 June.

In an attempt to force a rethink of the prison's Wimbledon coverage policy, the group of malcontents took one of their own members "hostage", and to chants of "We want TV, we want TV", threw his bound body at the feet of warders.

The warders responded by attempting to break up the demonstration, at which point things "turned ugly", as the protestors "started smashing windows and breaking bits of concrete off walls and hurling them at wardens".

In keeping with the sporting theme of the riot, they even "dismantled a set of indoor goal posts and threw them at staff".

Cue a prison staff retreat and five-hour stand-off, brought to an end when the specialist "Tornado Team" riot squad moved in and supressed the rebellion.

The final result was one female member of staff "hit on the thigh by a lump of concrete", three prisoners treated on site for "superficial injuries", three other ne'er-do-wells cuffed "and charged with violent disorder at Medway Magistrates Court last week", and Zvonareva through to the semis after beating Clijsters 3-6, 6-4, 6-2. ®

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