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article imageOp-Ed: The latest news from Full Sutton prison

By Alexander Baron     Aug 27, 2013 in Crime
Full Sutton - Full Sutton prison in Yorkshire houses some of the UK's most dangerous prisoners. It's currently in the news for all the wrong reasons.
Last week it was reported that three Full Sutton inmates had been charged with offences against a prison officer, including falsely imprisoning him. The men have been named as Feroz Khan, Fuad Awale and David Watson. The incident happened in May but the authorities have been taking their time over the case. All three have now been moved to other prisons, and will in due course be transferred to London to stand trial at the Central Criminal Court. Along with another man, Awale was convicted at Luton Crown Court of a double murder. The drug related shootings of two teenagers happened on May 26, 2011.
The prison authorities can and do deal with assaults and other crimes internally, but serious offences - up to and including murder - always result in the police being called in and the case being taken to an outside court. This is especially so when prison staff are targeted.
I could say more about this case but won't; yesterday I received a phone call from Michael Stone, who is not quite Full Sutton's most notorious inmate but is easily Britain's most outrageous miscarriage of justice. When I first began corresponding with Stone, more than a decade ago, he was if not semi-literate then far from academically inclined. When I spoke to him yesterday afternoon, he dictated a point of general public importance that he had drafted for submission to the Supreme Court. Previously this would have gone to the House of Lords. If you are not familiar with this case, check out previous articles, beginning with this one, and the two dedicated Michael Stone websites, the second of which, is run by the man who is funding Stone's appeal. It is a total disgrace that this case is not being funded by Legal Aid, or indeed that it needs to be brought at all.
Part of Stone's initial draft for the Supreme Court to consider includes the following:
"Murder convictions based on prisoner against prisoner cell block confessions are a point of public interest, or ought to be, because this type of evidence has always been inherently unreliable. Using cell confessions causes miscarriages of justice."
I can't remember when I wrote this or to whom it was addressed, but it has been reposted to a government website - for all the good it will do. (Please excuse the misspelling of Chillenden). The principle outlined here is an important one. The well-known Christian burial speech can be found here, among other places. This voluntary confession to a police officer led to the discovery of the victim's body, so should clearly be admissable, but anyone can confess to anything to anyone at any time, and anyone can fabricate a confession about anything at any time. As the law stands, the authorities will believe what they want to believe, and ignore or even ridicule the rest. I have personal experience of this, but consider the following. In March 1999, the South London Press reported that armed robber Wayne Hurran had confessed to murdering a man named Frank Moody and to two other murders as well as a string of violent crimes, but a judge dismissed the case because of the lack of evidence and Hurran's mental condition. Two years later it was reported he was to be released.
Our third report from Full Sutton sounds like a joke, and would be but for the gravity of the perpetrator's crimes. Earlier this year, gangster Dale Cregan was given four life sentences for murder at Preston Crown Court. An aside here, Cregan is often referred to by the tabloids as the one-eyed gangster or one-eyed police killer, etc. One wonders what would be the reaction if Anthony Sowell were referred to consistently as the black serial killer, or, perish the thought, Dennis Nilsen as the killer homo.
Cregan is currently on hunger strike because he is said to be "unhappy" at being segregated from other prisoners, and also wants to be moved to a gaol nearer his family.
Guess what, you weren't sent to gaol to be happy, Dale. This is the man who shot dead a young man, then murdered the victim's father, then lured two women police officers into a trap with a hoax 999 call and shot them both. And for what?
At one time a man who committed so many senseless crimes would have found himself sentenced to death, and he still would in some jurisdictions. Cregan hasn't got much to look forward to, but a) it is all entirely his own fault and b) it is better than the cold earth to which he dispatched four innocent people, two of whom were coming to his assistance only to be murdered in the line of duty.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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