Category Archives: Legal cases brought by prisoners

Lee Rigby killer sues for compensation

Michael-Adebolajo-with-knifeOne of the men who brutally killed Fusilier Lee Rigby is suing for compensation two years after his teeth were knocked out during an incident in the high security Belmarsh prison.

Michael Adebolajo was convicted last year alongside Michael Adebowale of murdering the 22-year-old soldier, who was run over and hacked to death near Woolwich barracks, south-east London, in broad daylight in May 2013.

While he was being held at Belmarsh prison after the killing, Adebolajo had his two front teeth knocked out and claimed he had been assaulted by five prison officers.

The officers were suspended from work after the incident but were later told they had no case to answer, with the Prison Officers’ Association insisting that only approved restraint techniques had been used.

A Ministry of Justice (MoJ) spokesman said it will “robustly” defend the compensation claim, which The Sun reported could be up to £20,000.

He said: “A police investigation into this incident took place and no charges were brought against members of staff. The public will be rightly outraged at the thought of this man receiving compensation from the taxpayer and we robustly defend claims made against the Prison Service.”

But Mark Leech, editor of The Prisons Handbook for England Wales took the opposite view.

Mr Leech said: “Morally of course it is outrageous that this brutal killer should receive compensation for injuries he sustained in prison, but we do not have courts of morals in this country, we have courts of law.

“A cornerstone of English law is that if you are injured at the hands of others you are entitled to ask the court to order that you be compensated for that injury – just because a person has committed a brutal criminal offence does not make them immune from being a victim of crime in the future.”

The MoJ said it has successfully defended two thirds of prisoner claims over the last three years.

Adebolajo horrified millions of people by appearing on camera with bloodied hands clutching a knife and a meat cleaver moments after killing Fusilier Rigby, a father of one.

Adebolajo was condemned to die in prison with a whole-life jail term for the murder, while Adebowale was sentenced to life with a minimum 45 years.

At their sentencing the pair lashed out violently in the dock, screaming “Allahu Akbar” and wrestling with security guards.

Court of Appeal allows charities to challenge legal aid cuts for prisoners

Two charities have today (Tuesday 28 July) won the right to challenge legal aid cuts for prisoners after the Court of Appeal ruled there was a risk that the system could be unfair and unlawful. The Howard League for Penal Reform and the Prisoners’ Advice Service (PAS) have been inundated with requests for help from… Continue Reading

Legal Aid Cuts Threaten ‘World Renown’ British Justice System – and riots in our jails

Government plans to overhaul legal aid threaten to destroy the “world-renowned” British justice system, barristers have told ministers – and prison experts have said the measures threaten such a level of national unrest inside our jails that they could eventually cost far more than any potential savings would ever hope to save. The Bar Council,… Continue Reading

Open letter to the Prisons Ombudsman

OPEN LETTER To:     Nigel Newcomen – Prisons and Probation Ombudsman for England and Wales From: Mark Leech, Editor: The Prisons Handbook for England and Wales Ref:    Proposals to reduce prison law legal aid Date: 16th April 2013 Nigel You will be aware that the Justice Secretary has announced proposals for a savage reduction in prison… Continue Reading

Jail Legal Aid Cuts ‘Could Mean Riots’

Read Converse, the national newspaper for prisoners in England and Wales Prisoners are set to be prevented from claiming legal aid to pursue complaints against the prison system, the government has announced – amid claims by jail experts that it could lead to riots inside prisons. Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said taxpayers’ money was being… Continue Reading


A severely disabled prisoner who requires round-the-clock treatment does not have to go back to jail, the Court of Appeal ruled today. Daniel Roque Hall, 30, is serving a three-year sentence after admitting smuggling 2.8kg of cocaine in his wheelchair back from a holiday in Peru. He suffers from the rare degenerative condition Friedreich’s ataxia… Continue Reading


A fun-fair worker who raped a young teenager after forcing her to drink alcohol won damages today after a European court ruled his human rights had been breached. Samuel Betteridge, 58, from Mablethorpe, was jailed after he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one of attempted rape at Lincoln Crown Court in 2005.… Continue Reading


A convicted murderer has failed in a High Court bid to force prison bosses to move a “bullying” gang “enforcer” to another jail. The murderer complained that he was at “risk of serious physical harm” and objected to the presence of the “bully” on human rights grounds. But a High Court judge refused to order… Continue Reading