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Monday, October 25, 2010

Fury over compo for solitary cons

Fury over compo for solitary cons


VIOLENT cons held in solitary confinement have raked in £40,000 compensation - by claiming it breached their HUMAN RIGHTS.

So far 18 lags - including killers and drug dealers - have landed payouts after they were locked up alone for aggressive or disruptive behaviour.

And another ten claims are still in the pipeline - sparking fury from politicians.

Last night Tory justice spokesman John Lamont said: "This latest cash plea is yet another insult to justice, to victims and to the taxpayer.

"The public will be outraged that their money is being used to line the pockets of these criminals."

Settlements were agreed after lags took their cases to the Court of Session, claiming solitary confinement breached European Human Rights laws.

It follows similar legal battles over slopping out and inmates' right to vote.

And among the first to benefit was murderer Andrew Somerville, 45, who shot hostage Craig Anderson near Whitburn, West Lothian.

The killer, jailed for 20 years in 1993, was put placed in solitary after sparking a riot in Shotts prison in 2002.

But he claimed the experience undermined his "dignity".

Yesterday Lothians MSP Angela Constance, whose constituency covers Whitburn, said: "It's outrageous that prisoners put in segregation for very serious offences should receive compensation."

Others to benefit include robber Sammy 'The Bear' Ralston, 46, and Spanish hitman Ricardo Blanco, also 46.

Last night Ralston said he netted £2,100 for being held in isolation at HMP Kilmarnock.

But he claimed the payout was not high enough.

He said: "I've spent more on calls to my lawyer."

Out of 30 claims, only two have been thrown out.

But there is now a one-year time bar to in the legal challenges.

A Scottish Government spokesman said the new rules had "saved taxpayers up to £50million".

The Scottish Prison Service refused to comment.

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