Hunger striker's supporters prepare for his death
Tuesday 08 December 1998
Horne's friend and daily visitor, Alison Lawson, told supporters staging a 24-hour vigil outside the hospital that his condition had noticeably deteriorated during the day. "He is definitely worse," she said as she left his guarded room at York District Hospital. "Barry is still conscious but he is not able to focus any more.
Ms Lawson, Horne's nominated next-of-kin, added, "His spirits are amazingly high. His skin has changed colour now and his eyesight has virtually gone. The hearing in one ear has gone too and he can't hold down water any longer."
Once he loses consciousness Horne's living will comes into force, forbidding nurses from feeding him as he approaches his 63rd day without food. Bobby Sands, the IRA hunger striker, died in 1981 after 66 days.
Nevertheless, Horne is keen to hear press reports of his protest. "He remains very optimistic," said Ms Lawson. "He still hopes Labour will change their mind and announce a Royal Commission into animal experiments."
As Horne, a convicted fire bomber, lies struggling for breath his supporters wait at the camp they have built, flanked by placards and posters. Some are carefully laminated and carry considered arguments which highlight the Government's unfulfilled promises on animal rights. Other banners simply say "Don't let Barry die for Labour's lie".
It will not be long before he falls into a coma," confirmed Brendan McNally, one of Horne's former friends in the animal rights movement.
Another supporter, Sue Stone, has travelled to York on business and joined the vigil for part of the day. She is angered by suggestions that she and Horne's other supporters care about animals more than they do about people. "I don't think there is a choice. If you care about life you care about both," she said.
Her view was not shared by a middle-aged pedestrian who said she helps raise money for the hospital. "It's disgraceful that people like you are prepared to threaten other people's lives with your attacks," she said. "Let him commit suicide if he wants to. You should all go home and do something useful."
Times are so tough in Italy that Mafiosi are considering getting jobs
The man they forgot to lock up: Mike Anderson was sentenced to 13 years in jail, but the police never came
Unbeliebable: The White House offers 'no comment' to anti-Justin Bieber petition
Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
South Korea ferry disaster: Families watch as remains of Sewol victims returned to shore
The food poverty scandal that shames Britain: Nearly 1m people rely on handouts to eat – and benefit reforms may be to blame
Scottish independence: It is the English who should be on their knees, begging the Scots to vote ‘No’
'Sinful': Video of British Muslims dancing to Pharrell Williams's hit Happy comes under attack
An open letter to Nigel Farage: you may smile, but I am not seduced
Nigel Farage: I’m taking on the status quo, and the Establishment’s fighting back
Abdullah Deghayes: My son was the martyr of a just cause, says father of British teenager killed in Syria conflict
- 1 Disabled people are trapped in assessment 'nightmare' by PIP benefits regime, says Dr Stephen Duckworth
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Queen turns 88: David Bailey captures another side of the Queen in birthday portrait
- 4 Loch Ness Monster found on Apple Maps?
- 5 Criminals ‘using unmanned drones and infrared cameras to find illegal cannabis farms’ – and then steal from the growers
£130 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Ilford: Secondary Geography Teacher Lo...
£55 - £70 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Are you a dynamic and energeti...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Group: SEN TAs, LSAs and Support Workers needed...
£50000 - £60000 per annum: Pro-Recruitment Group: The Sheffield office of this...