Prisoner loses 'slopping out' bid

 

A convicted paedophile lost a High Court damages action today over the practice of "slopping out" in prisons.

Roger Gleaves, 77, claimed that having to use a bucket as a toilet in his cell while serving time at Albany prison on the Isle of Wight was a breach of his human rights.

He asked a judge for a damages award of £2,600, but the action was dismissed by Mr Justice Hickinbottom in London.

The Ministry of Justice contested actions brought by Gleaves and another ex-Albany inmate, 30-year-old Desmond Grant, which, if successful, could have forced the Government to spend millions on upgrading old jails.

Grant's case was also rejected by the judge.

Gleaves, who is due to be released from prison in seven months, was present in court for the ruling.

Mr Justice Hickinbottom refused permission to appeal against his ruling, but a direct approach can still be made to the Court of Appeal in a bid to take the case further.

Slopping out was officially abolished in the UK in 1996, but a watchdog warned last year that 2,000 cells across 10 prisons still had no in-cell sanitation, and the practice of using a bucket at night continued.

Gleaves, who was given a 15-year sentence at the Old Bailey in 1998 for the rape of two 14-year-old boys, told the judge during the hearing of his case that slopping out was "demeaning and utterly despicable".

James Eadie QC, for the Ministry, said the sole issue was whether the conditions in which the two prisoners were held were degrading.

The standard was a high one and a conclusion that conditions could be better, or even that they were unsatisfactory, was not enough to meet the legal threshold, which almost always involved physical injury or mental anguish.

Both Gleaves and Grant claimed that their rights under Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights were violated by the prison conditions in which they were detained.

Article 3 provides that no one "shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment" and Article 8 covers the right to a private and family life.

The judge ruled that the conditions in HMP Albany "did not breach the claimants' rights under Article 3 or Article 8 of the Convention".

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific