Mother begs Major to help save son from electric chair


John Major came under increasing pressure yesterday to make a plea for clemency in the case of Nick Ingram, the Briton due to be executed in America next Thursday.

Ingram's mother, Ann, made a personal plea begging for the Prime Minister's intervention, while in the Commons, the Labour MP Anne Campbell demanded that he make the "strongest possible representations" to President Bill Clinton.

Downing Street said last night that it had not formulated a reply to Mrs Ingram's letter, sent from her home near the Georgia correctional centre where her son awaits death. However, it is already becoming clear that the issue could prove an embarrassment to Mr Major during his visit to America next week.

The District Attorney who prosecuted Ingram for a brutal murder 11 years ago warned him in yesterday's Independent not to get involved, but the Prime Minister, who has voted against the death penalty in Parliament, is certain to be asked by the travelling British media next week what he intends to do to save the Briton's life.

The Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles has received pleas for clemency from people in the UK, Germany, Belgium, Australia, Japan, America and Norway. It may leave Mr Major open to criticism if he fails to make representations of his own.

In her letter to Mr Major, Mrs Ingram said: "Obviously, I do not want my son to die by any means. But to think that in a few days, as the sun goes down here in Georgia, Nicky will be strapped into the electric chair is more than a mother can bear. I have read that people suffer agony in the electric chair and that one person put to death in Georgia suffered particularly long because `he was just not a good conductor of electricity'. It was some Georgia prison official who said that. How in the name of all that is holy can they do this? How can they methodically plan to shave my Nicky's head, shave his leg, and see how good a conductor of electricity he is?"

Cambridge-born Ingram, 31, was convicted 11 years ago of murdering 55- year-old JC Sawyer and wounding his wife, Mary, by lashing them to a tree and shooting them in the head after robbing them of $70.

His defence team says he had a blackout during the crime, they say Mrs Sawyer's identification evidence is not sound, and they argue that another man, who gave evidence against him, may have been an accomplice. Tom Charron, the DA, said he is satisfied the conviction is safe.

In her letter to Mr Major, Ms Campbell said she was concerned that doubt had been cast on Ingram's conviction and she added: "The intended method of his execution is abhorrent by any civilised standards and is contrary to the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.''

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Arts and Entertainment
tvGame of Thrones season 5 ep 4, review - WARNING: contains major spoiliers!
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooksA celebration of British elections
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living