Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Dead - Doh!

The prison system has a clever construction known as the "safer cell design". These cells are intended to reduce or eliminate ligature points - that is, features from which we can hang ourselves.
Well done, then, to the private nick which altered a Safer Cell by fitting a strong shower rail, then chucking a known suicidal man inside.
For once I agree with the Prisons Ombudsman. Stupid beyond belief; and a waste of life.


  1. Seems kind of criminally negligent - kind of like an employer just not bothering to get guards fixed on a cutting machine until someones hand gets cut off (though this is worse than a lost hand). What would a negligent employer cop for an equivalent safety failure?

  2. Depends. The negligence has to be sufficient to be criminal to count as manslaughter (yes I know it is circular, so is the Adomako test for Gross Negligence Manslaughter). So this might not be enough to get them criminal liability.

    However it is still negligent enough for there to be a civil claim. If he had dependents, then they can claim for the loss of support. If he had parents, then there is a £11800 claim that they can make for the grief. A better option would be for the health and safety regulator to fine the company, as they are not constrained by niceties such as having to show actual loss and can do some real damage.