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Innocent man jailed for 25 years might owe 80,000 for food and lodging.

Discussion in 'Bizarre and Off-Beat News' started by Casshew, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. Casshew

    Casshew Former Member

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    We locked you up in jail for 25 years and you were innocent all along? That’ll be £80,000 please

    Blunkett charges miscarriage of justice victims ‘food and lodgings’
    By Neil Mackay, Home Affairs Editor


    WHAT do you give someone who’s been proved innocent after spending the best part of their life behind bars, wrongfully convicted of a crime they didn’t commit?

    An apology, maybe? Counselling? Champagne? Compensation? Well, if you’re David Blunkett, the Labour Home Secretary, the choice is simple: you give them a big, fat bill for the cost of board and lodgings for the time they spent freeloading at Her Majesty’s Pleasure in British prisons.

    On Tuesday, Blunkett will fight in the Royal Courts of Justice in London for the right to charge victims of miscarriages of justice more than £3000 for every year they spent in jail while wrongly convicted. The logic is that the innocent man shouldn’t have been in prison eating free porridge and sleeping for nothing under regulation grey blankets.

    Blunkett’s fight has been described as “outrageous”, “morally repugnant” and the “sickest of sick jokes”, but his spokesmen in the Home Office say it’s a completely “reasonable course of action” as the innocent men and women would have spent the money anyway on food and lodgings if they weren’t in prison. The government deems the claw-back ‘Saved Living Expenses’.

    Paddy Hill was one of the Birmingham Six. He spent 16 years behind bars for the 1974 Birmingham pub bombings by the IRA. Hill now lives on a farm with his wife and children near Beith in Scotland. He has been charged £50,000 for living expenses by the Home Office.

    It wasn’t until two years ago that Hill was finally awarded £960,000 in compensation. However, during the years since his release, while waiting for the pay-out, the government had given him advances of around £300,000. When his compensation came through, the £300,000 was taken back along with interest on the interim payments charged at 23% – that cost him a further £70,000.

    “The whole system is absurd,” Hill said. “I’m so angry about what has happened to me. I try and tell people about being charged for bed and board in jail and they can’t believe it.

    http://www.sundayherald.com/40592
     
  2. BirdieBoo

    BirdieBoo New Member

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    umm, I'd say the food and lodging was willingly given in this case, and therefore a gift. JMO.
     
  3. Hugh

    Hugh New Member

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    I agree our Mr Blunkett does appear to be losing the plot somewhat.
    Perhaps it is lucky for Mr Hill and others that we do not have the death penalty here.
     

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