A triple killer has won £800 in compensation after some of his belongings, including nose hair clippers, cranberry juice and an alarm clock, were lost or broken in prison. – and after he rejected a derisory offer of £10 compensation from the much-criticised Prisons Ombudsman.
Kevan Thakrar, 26, was awarded £500 because prison officers lost “priceless” photographs and personal items – which a judge said was made worse because they did not apologise to him.
Thakrar, from Stevenage, Hertfordshire, is serving three life sentences with a minimum of 35 years behind bars after he and his brother Miran were jailed in 2007 for the gangland-style execution of three drug dealers and two other attempted murders.
In March 2010 he maimed three guards at Frankland Prison in County Durham after stabbing them with a broken battle, but was cleared of two counts of attempted murder and three of wounding with intent, a decision which prompted widespread fury.
Following the attack Thakrar was moved from Frankland to Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes and it was during this move that some of his possessions were misplaced.
According to the court judgment, detailed on Thakrar’s Facebook page, he was awarded £224.97 for damage to his stereo, alarm clock and nasal clippers.
He was also awarded £90 after items including a carton of cranberry juice, protein powder and toiletries were lost, which he claimed left him “stressed”.
District Judge Neil Hickman said there had been a “somewhat cavalier disregard for Mr Thakrar’s rights and for his property”, and awarded him a further £500 to compensate him for lost photographs and personal items, making £814.97 in total.
The judge added: “Had the defendants said promptly and sincerely to Mr Thakrar that they deeply regretted the loss of his personal items and understood his distress, the loss of them would not have been aggravated in the way that it has been.
“So far from doing that, the ministry has steadfastly failed even to tender the grudging and belated apology which was recommended by the ombudsman.”
The prison ombudsman had originally offered Thakrar £10 in compensation, but the killer took the case to court last year, and District Judge Hickman ruled that he deserved a further payout.
The judge said there had been an “outrageous delay” of 13 months in the ombudsman paying the proposed £10, which he said had “all the appearance of a calculated gesture on the part of the ministry”.
Following the payout Thakrar boasted about it on his Facebook page, saying that he had hoped to send bailiffs to the Ministry of Justice to ensure they paid his compensation.A prison guard who Thakrar attacked condemned the claim as laughable.
Craig Wylde, who was left with a severed artery and damaged nerves, told the Daily Mail:
“It is another case of the prisoner getting everything and the real victims getting nothing.
“He is always trying it on. This is the sort of person he is. He has to complain about everything and thinks he’s a big man because he’s challenging the system. This latest claim will have cost thousands and thousands of taxpayers’ money. It is just totally pathetic.”
A Prison Service spokeswoman said: “We robustly defend all cases as far as the evidence allows.”
Thakrar was first jailed after he and his brother killed Keith Cowell, 52, his son Matthew, 17, and Tony Dulieu, 33, from Essex, at the Cowells’ house in Bishop’s Stortford, Hertfordshire.
The men had met at the house to do a cocaine deal, but Miran Thakrar, a small-time drug dealer, was angry that he had been sold poor quality cocaine previously by the Cowells and was out for revenge.
Miran Thakrar shot the family dog and then lined up Keith Cowell, Matthew Cowell and Mr Dulieu, and shot them dead as his brother Kevan looked on.
The brothers also shot and stabbed Ms Jennings and attacked Ms Evans with a knife as she tried to shield her three-year-old daughter.
Mark Leech editor of Converse the national newspaper for prisoners said the case showed why Prisons Ombudsman, Nigel Newcomen, was so often derided by prisoners who had no faith in his alleged independence.
Mr Leech said: “The Prisons Ombudsman is a joke, a laughing stock, a former senior member of the very prison service he now claims to independently investigate prisoners rightly have no confidence in him.
“Kevan’s crimes have nothing to do with this case, the prison service lost or broke his property and he has the right to be compensated for that – the judge’s comments that the Prisons Ombudsman had made a ‘calculated gesture’ show why its vital that Ombudsmen must never have prior involvement with the organisations they investigate, Nigel Newcomen spent 25 years in the Prison Service latterly as an Assistant Director its crazy to expect him to be independent of it.”