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Handcuffed prisoner speaks of ‘humiliation’ as member of public photographed him during hospital visit

PUBLISHED: 15:24 01 October 2018 | UPDATED: 10:54 02 October 2018

HMP Bure. Photo: Colin Finch

HMP Bure. Photo: Colin Finch

A prisoner has spoken of his “humiliation” as a member of the public took a photo of him in chains at a Norfolk hospital.

Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital. NNUHNorfolk and Norwich University Hospital. NNUH

The man, who is 79 but was not named, wrote to Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) chief executive Mark Davies after a visit to the trust.

In the letter, revealed to the hospital’s board of directors, he said: “I am writing to you to express my very great appreciation for the excellent treatment and the respect and politeness shown to me on the many occasions that I have attended hospital for various health conditions.”

The HMP Bure prisoner, who has been locked up for three years and apologised for the “quality of the notepaper” he was writing on, said he had been to the hospital six times while incarcerated.

He said: “Sadly on all outside visits I have to be handcuffed to an officer. On one such visit I was led around the hospital on a long steel chain on a visit to dermatology. A member of the public took a photograph of me which needless to say only served to intensify my humiliation.”

HMP Bure. Photo: Colin FinchHMP Bure. Photo: Colin Finch

He described the visits as a “very painful emotional experience”.

He said: “I have met prisoners who will not report any health condition which might result in a hospital visit so that they can avoid the mortifying experience and humiliation, particularly those who like me, insist we were wrongly convicted.”

The prisoner said he wanted to write to Mr Davies to show “the contrast between that and the warm and caring reception I have received from all the staff”.

He said: “I was feeling very embarrassed and upset because of the photograph and I would have left there and then to return to prison had I been able to. However I was quite overcome with the non-judgemental treatment and attention I received where I had my procedure carried out.

“The staff’s polite, relaxed and friendly manner restored my faith in human nature and I felt so much better in myself after I had left that morning. In fact they helped me more than I can adequately express.”

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