Friday, 9 July 2010
"Hope is what keeps the human spirit alive – without hope there is nothing".
"At my trial Judge Drake gave a minimum tariff, and providing that during your jail you do nothing wrong that is how long you do. I was given 25 years. This was then sent to the Lord Chief Justice to be rubber stamped. Lord Lane said he agreed with the 25 year tariff.
So as far as I was concerned I had to serve 25 years and I’d be let out on parole to serve my life license outside. Very few lifers are kept in forever. When I got my life sentence most lifers then were serving between 8 and 12 years, so 25 years was massive.
Eleven years into my sentence I was called up to the psychology office in Long Lartin, about 8 different people were there and it was very odd. The number one Governor said ‘I don’t know how to break this to you but Michael Howard, (who was Home Secretary at the time) has ruled that you must die in jail.’
I appealed this ruling last year and I knew that the appeal court would not act on this as it was too political so they kicked it up the line to The European Court who have now agreed to prioritise my case. It means that my hearing should be very soon as my conviction is spent in only a few months time.
For me winning this ruling will just confirm how cruel the authorities are telling a man he is to die in jail as hope is what keeps the human spirit alive – without hope there is nothing. It is only because I am strong that I can and could see beyond the action of Michael Howard in telling me my last breath would be staring at a prison door".