Child rapist claims £5,000 over prison toilet

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The Independent Online

A child rapist caused outrage today after issuing a compensation claim for thousands of pounds because his prison cell does not have a toilet.

Serial paedophile David Williams wants £5,000, claiming his human rights were breached because he has to endure "a substandard lifestyle" at Exeter Prison in Devon.

The 43-year-old was jailed in June 2007 for the rape of a young teenage boy. He was given an indeterminate sentence for public protection.

Williams, who has lived in Devon and Durham, has convictions for offences against children dating back to the 1980s. He was arrested for the rape shortly after serving six years for seven counts of gross misconduct against four boys aged between four and 11.

During that sentence he refused to take part in any sex offender rehabilitation courses.

In a writ to the High Court, Williams said the lifestyle at the prison is endangering his "physical and emotional health".

The claims have sparked outrage from victim support groups.

Ed Usher, of Victims' Voice, said: "The human rights of the victim are never taken into account.

"These offenders have been put behind bars because they chose to commit the crime.

"Provided they are held in decent surroundings, it's ridiculous they should make these sorts of claims for damages."

In the claim, Williams is seeking damages under Article 3 of the Human Rights Act 1998, which describes the inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of a person.

He claims his rights are being breached because he was "denied" proper sanitation facilities, washing facilities and the supply of hot water and drinking water in his cell on the prison's D-wing.

The writ claims Williams has been subjected to "degrading and humiliating treatment" by the prison service.

He is seeking £5,000, which he said is £2,500 per year for the period between 8 November 2006, and 29 April 2008.

The Ministry of Justice denied that Exeter Prison's sanitary provisions breached any human rights.

A spokesman said: "Our position is that no prison's sanitary arrangements breach human rights legislation."

Exeter Prison said the case is being dealt with by their solicitors.

Hugo Swire, MP for East Devon, told the Express and Echo newspaper that the claim is ridiculous and a "mockery of justice".

He said: "I hope that very little time and certainly not too much money is spent on this clearly outrageous attempt to make a mockery of the criminal justice system.

"Even entertaining the idea that someone who has perpetrated such an horrific crime can be compensated is just ridiculous."