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Prison Governor refuses to sedate inmate

Prison Governor refuses to sedate inmate

Tuesday 13 August 2019

Prison Governor refuses to sedate inmate

Jersey’s Prison Governor is refusing to allow an inmate to be ‘drugged’ at La Moye before being flown to a high security unit in the UK.

Doctors say, for safety reasons, it's essential the prisoner is sedated before being sent away for specialist treatment.

But, at a special Royal Court hearing held yesterday, which is necessary in such cases, the Deputy Bailiff, Tim Le Cocq, and five Jurats, were told Nick Cameron won't allow the sedation to take place at the prison.

Neither the lawyers, or medical staff who were present at the hearing gave exact reasons as to why, but some of the possibilities advanced in Court included the prison not having the right staff or facilities, or concerns that it could set a precedent with the prison taking on responsibilities it can't handle.


Pictured: Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq presided over the case.

The prisoner – who for medical reasons can’t be named - was described as psychotic, with two Jersey doctors claiming that he can only get the treatment he needs at a forensic inpatient service in the UK, which cares for those detained under the Mental Health Act or by Court Order.

However, the Court heard that the pilot of the private plane asked to take the patient would refuse to fly him unless he was sedated and accompanied by prison officers.

Because he can’t be injected at La Moye, the Court heard that prison officers would have to transport him to St. Saviour mental health facility Orchard House, where he can be sedated before being put on the plane the next morning.

The prisoner has a long history of mental illness and was voluntarily taking drugs to treat his condition, but recently stopped his medication.


Pictured: Prison Governor Nick Cameron.

During yesterday's Royal Court hearing to approve the transfer to the UK, the prisoner’s lawyer, Advocate Rebecca Morley-Kirk, said as far as she should could establish – he doesn’t have the capacity to instruct her or to make decisions – her client didn’t want to go the UK, but she was supporting the move on medical advice.

Giving evidence to the hearing, one of the doctors treating the prisoner said he had a history of violence and is likely to resist being given the medication. In her opinion, transporting him to the other side of the island would add to the risks to the officers and medical staff. She claimed that it would have been better if it could have been done at the prison.

Advocate Morley-Kirk, whilst wanting to avoid being "over critical", told the court she would also like to see changes in the island so prisoners with similar medical conditions wouldn’t have to go to the UK and could be treated locally.

Having heard the submissions, the Royal Court approved the prisoner’s transport to Orchard House for sedation, his onward flight to the UK, and his transfer to a secure unit.


Pictured: The Royal Court approved the prisoner's transport to Orchard House for sedation.

He will initially be there for six months, although he can appeal at any time. Afterwards, that six month period can be extended for a further six months. If he successfully appeals, or improves and returns to the island, he will serve the rest of his sentence at La Moye.

Deputy Bailiff Tim Le Cocq said the court would be publishing a more detailed judgment on the matter in due course.

Approached for comment by Express following the case, Prison Governor Nick Cameron commented: "We do not comment, as a policy, on individual cases or prisoners. However, the States of Jersey Prison Service (SoJPS) provide primary care for prisoners through the provision of GP and nursing staff.

"When a prisoner becomes acutely unwell and requires secondary care, the Department of Health provide this care either in hospital or through a specialist unit that is appropriate to manage any acute condition. Colleagues from the Department of Health work closely with SoJPS to support the provision of off-island specialist care, as required."

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