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R (Mackenzie) v Governor of Wakefield Prison

The policy or practice of a prison governor whereby Category A prisoners were inspected at regular intervals during the night to ensure that they were still in their cells and had made no attempt to escape did not violate a prisoner’s rights under Art 3 or Art 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights 1950.

14 July 2006

The claimant (M) applied for judicial review of the policy or practice carried out by the defendant prison governor whereby Category A prisoners were inspected at regular intervals during the night to ensure that they were still in their cells and had made no attempt to escape. M, a Category A prisoner who had committed a number of serious offences, was serving a sentence of life imprisonment. He was aged 60 and in ill health, and had been assessed as a “standard” escape risk, which was the lowest level for Category A prisoners. M complained that the hourly inspections, which involved opening the hatch of the cell and turning on the light, created deliberate disturbance to his rest in light of his ill health. M contended that because of his particular health problems, which made the possibility of his escape extremely unlikely in any event, the application of the defendant’s policy of inspection amounted to a violation of his right to freedom from ill-treatment contrary to Art...

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