WARNING THE PICTURES LINKED BELOW SHOW GRAPHIC KNIFE INJURIES.
By Mark Leech, editor: The Prisons Handbook for England and Wales.
The Governor of Sudbury Open Prison refuses to speak with members of the public in general and the victims of violent crimes in particular whose assailants are locked up in his prison.
In May 2014 Jason Shepherd, 40, suffered an horrendous unprovoked knife attack – his attacker was convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 8 years.
Jason was left for dead in the street and were it not for a passer-by who stepped in to stop the attack Jason undoubtedly would have died.
Four years later, with his attacker now in an Open Prison close to his home, Jason learnt that his attacker was about to be released from HMP Sudbury on Release On Temporary Licence (ROTL) – day release to those unfamiliar with the term.
Jason wrote to Adrian Turner, the Governing Governor at HMP Sudbury, the person responsible for setting the licence conditions of ROTLs from HMP Sudbury.
In the letter Jason expressed his serious concerns that as his attacker knew his home address he asked that there be a ‘No Contact’ Licence Condition and an Exclusion Zone around his home – and further that as his attacker had been ordered to pay Jason over £125,000 in damages, Jason asked the Governor to include a Licence Condition that his attacker when released must provide details of his employment while on licence so that Jason could apply to the Court for an Attachment of Earnings Order to enforce the Court’s damages judgement.
When Jason did not receive a reply or an acknowledgement he phoned the prison and asked to speak to Adrian Turner or his Secretary, to inquire if his letter had been received.
He was told by the prison switchboard operator: “The Governor and his secretary do not take calls from Members of the Public”.
Sorry, say that again.
“The Governor and his secretary do not take calls from Members of the Public”
Yes you heard it right.
What a shocking disregard of a victim’s rights.
And this came less than two weeks after the debacle with John Warboys revealed how shabbily the victims of crime are treated – the Prison Service in general, and Adrian Turner at HMP Sudbury in particular, seem to have learnt nothing from that case.
“The Public”, who Adrian Turner will not take calls from, are the very people who pay his wages – and those of all his staff too.
HMP Sudbury is an open prison, it is not the High Security Unit at Belmarsh – Jason was not asking for any security information – he simply wanted confirmation that his letter had been received.
To date he has still not had the confirmation nor a response from Adrian Turner.
Its a shocking indictment of a prison, and a Governor, that are completely out of touch with reality.
I am inviting Richard Burgon MP, the Shadow Justice Secretary, and Baroness Newlove the Victim Commissioner, to take this matter up both with David Gauke, the Justice Secretary, and the Justice Select Committee – it is simply unacceptable that victims can be treated in this way by those whose wages they help to pay.
Adrian Turner should be ashamed of his treatment of this victim, he needs to write a sincere apology, the horrendous injuries Jason Shepherd sustained are shown here – WARNING THEY ARE GRAPHIC KNIFE INJURIES.
This was not some simple attack it was sustained attempt to murder Jason Shepherd, and he has every right to speak to the Governor (Adrian Turner) to ask that the Licence Conditions that are set when his attacker is released should put his safety right at the front of the Governor’ mind – that however is not the case.
If the Governor of a prison does not recognise that victims have rights then he has no place in the Prison Service and certainly no place being in charge of a prison where he is responsible in law for ensuring victims rights are respected.