petition - disabled man needing 24 hour care in jail

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devine63

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Dear Ouchers

Yesterday Bule Kingfisher let us know about an article in Private Eye which talked about a seriously disabled man called Daniel Roque Hall  who needs 24 hour care and has been sentenced to 3 years in Wormwood Scrubs jail (which does not have the facilities he needs).   I have started a petition about this to ask the Ministry of Justice to reconsider.

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/36696

The original article is
http://www.private-eye.co.uk/sections.php?section_link=in_the_back&issue=1319   

I will summarise:
     
Daniel is 29 years old, he's a wheelchair user in the advanced stages of a rare degenerative disease (Friedrich's Ataxia) and who needs 24-hour care was jailed for three years this month and sent to Wormwood Scrubs – an overstretched jail that cannot cope with someone who has such severe disabilities and, at best, ten years left to live.

"He has little movement in his upper limbs, his speech is severely impaired and he has difficulty swallowing. He also has curvature of the spine. This puts pressure on his already damaged heart and causes breathing difficulties and severe back pain.   He needs 24-hour care, including toileting, repositioning to avoid pressure sores and manipulation and exercise to maintain as much muscle activity as possible. Yet, shackled in his wheelchair to security guards and described by a judge as naïve and vulnerable, he was still sent to the Scrubs to start his sentence earlier this month. "

Home curfew

"Daniel, who had never been in trouble before, was arrested at Heathrow airport with 2.8kgs of cocaine in the cushion of his wheelchair when he returned from a trip to Peru last November with one of his carers. Although probation reports found Daniel had been “groomed and manipulated”, he pleaded guilty and told customs investigators his carer had not been involved. His family accepts this. "

"While awaiting sentence Daniel was put under home curfew because of the severity of his condition. Nothing has changed in his condition; but Wormwood Scrubs staff reassured the court that the jail could meet his needs."

Fears for his mental and physical wellbeing

"He had only been in the Scrubs’ health wing for two hours when, left alone on a trolley, an involuntary muscle spasm caused Daniel to tumble off and hit his head. Instead of taking him to hospital, Scrubs staff for some reason decided to send him to a care home for the elderly and those with dementia. No one told the staff there that he had hit his head, or that he was taking blood-thinning medication. Instead security staff sat chained to him (how they thought he might escape is a mystery) until the care home later arranged a transfer to hospital. Discharged a day later, he is now back at the Scrubs where his mother, Anne Hall, fears for his mental and physical wellbeing. "

"No one is claiming that Daniel should evade justice; but for someone of his vulnerability, the effects of jail are degrading, inhumane and manifestly disproportionate. Until last week when the high court intervened, prison governors had also been refusing to allow him access to his new solicitor, Adam Tear. "

Inappropriately handcuffed

"Along with claims of neglect and inappropriate treatment after his fall, among the litany of concerns are that in the two weeks since his imprisonment Daniel was denied pain relief and mobility help; spent five days in an old people’s home inappropriately handcuffed despite his immobility and propensity to injury and infection; had no access to his usual exercise equipment, including his standing wheelchair; was offered inappropriate food; and needed another urgent hospital admission to control thyroid problems. "

"Dr A Dornhorst, a consultant endocrinologist at Hammersmith Hospital, wrote: “It would be difficult to think that Daniel would be able to survive any period of incarceration unless he was to have appropriate one-to-one 24-hour care to prevent bed sores, recurrent hypoglycaemia and infections.” "

"Meanwhile his consultant neurologist, Dr Paola Giunti, of the National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, warned that: “If the appropriate support is not put in place, Mr Roque Hall can deteriorate quite rapidly.” "

"Daniel’s mother says she fears for his safety at the Scrubs – not unreasonably perhaps given the recent report on the London jail by the prisons inspectorate. This found there was little support or help for prisoners with disabilities, and that the jail’s inpatient unit was more suited to inmates with mental illness. "

Please sign the petition:
http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/36696

regards, Deb

devine63

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I understand some people are concerned because Daniel's conviction is for bringing drugs into the UK - but please bear in mind the judge in that case said he was "groomed" by others into doing that.   And in any case, this is about his treatment in prison - and even a convicted person has human rights - which surely should cover this situation!

I received this update below from Daniel's friends. regards, Deb

"In the prison hospital wing, housing many prisoners with mental illness, Daniel is being denied the care he needs for his conditions. Wormwood Scrubs refuses to allow him to use any exercise equipment, essential for preventing further deterioration. Owing to this, he is in pain so severe he is unable to sleep.  The effect of prison for Daniel is further and irreversible damage to his health and the shortening of his already curtailed life expectancy. His imprisonment is “degrading, inhumane and manifestly disproportionate” (Private Eye, 27th July 2012)"

                                                        "He is deteriorating rapidly."

"We demand that Daniel Roque Hall be removed immediately from Wormwood Scrubs prison to serve the remainder of his  sentence at a place appropriate to his needs."

PLEASE * sign our petition:  http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/justice-for-daniel-roque-hall.html 
* contact your MP about this case: www.theyworkforyou.com       

*join our protest outside the prison at 3pm on Saturday August 11th*

ChrisPage

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They'll have to improve the care of Disabled prisoners for when we all commit crimes to make sure we're looked after when the government slash our benefits.

Prabhakari

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This case gives an insight into the treatment of disabled sentient beings by totalitarian regimes. . . and our current government.
We are right to fear The Right. They are very Wrong!
Bless 'em all, bless 'em all,
The long and the short and the tall.

Fuzzgin

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Signed. I hope he gets moved soon, even better released.

devine63

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Hello all

There was a news article in the London local TV news on BBC this evening:   Daniel's mother has gone to the media to report that because of the failure of Wormwood Scrubs to provide for his health needs, Daniel has gone into heart failure and has been admitted to University College Hospital, I gather he has already been there several days and is likely to have to stay for some time.

The media went to the Ministry of Justice for a comment,  they just said that the matter will now be considered by a High Court judge.
regards, Deb

devine63

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Update 10.02.2013

On Friday evening there was a report on the London local news on the BBC about Daniel Roque Hall:
Daniel has been back to court, they have reduced/suspended his sentence [so that in effect he has already completed it] and therefore he can go home.
The news report failed to mention that the prison was unable to meet Daniel's disability related needs, they simply said that he became ill whilst in prison and had to go to hospital.
regards, Deb

Dic Penderyn

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Well at least he is out of that damn place now he should never have been there in the first place.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

Fizzbw

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Yes that is very good news. Shame that the real reasons weren't talked about though.

Fx

Dic Penderyn

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What really annoys me is that he got a three year sentence in the first place, a similar sentence to some people who have killed someone.
Be careful in what you wish for, God has a sense of humour

devine63

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Yes, especially as there was evidence that he was groomed before agreeing to be a courier
regards, Deb