Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Disgust at Huntley's 'Obscene' Cash Claim; Child Killer Wants Pounds 100,000 after Attack

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Disgust at Huntley's 'Obscene' Cash Claim; Child Killer Wants Pounds 100,000 after Attack

Article excerpt

Byline: Kerry Wood

CHILD killer Ian Huntley's move to sue the Prison Service after he was attacked in a North East jail has been branded an "obscenity" by a prison officers' union.

Members of the Prison Officers' Association (POA) have hit our after reports that the Soham killer wants to take legal action against the Ministry for Justice over an attack on him by a fellow prisoner.

Currently serving a life sentence for killing schoolgirls Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman in 2002, Huntley claims the service failed in their duty of care towards him.

Huntley could reportedly win almost pounds 100,000 in damages, though the Ministry of Justice said the claim would be "vigorously defended".

The former school caretaker was left scarred after a prisoner cut his throat with a makeshift weapon at Durham's Frankland Prison in March.

He is alleged to have been cut with a razor blade by Damien Fowkes and needed hospital treatment.

The attack came after three prison officers at the County Durham jail had previously been injured by another inmate, a regular occurrence according to the POA.

Staff at the maximum security jail went on to issue a vote of no confidence in governor Dave Thompson after the attack.

General secretary of the union Steve Gillian said: "It is an obscenity for Ian Huntley to be doing this and if he has been able to get legal aid to try and sue the Prison Service.

"We just hope the Ministry for Justice will fight this vigorously because no one was negligent in this case. A lot of prison officers get assaulted on a daily basis and get very little compensation for the difficult jobs they do on behalf of society.

"For Ian Huntley to be attempting to sue the prison service is an insult to the public and to the taxpayer."

Earlier this year the former justice secretary Jack Straw said the Government had "absolutely no intention" of paying compensation to Huntley over the attack.

Yesterday, the Government's Victims' Champion Sara Payne said she was "sickened" by Huntley's claim for compensation.

Ms Payne, who received pounds 8,000 in compensation when her eight-year-old daughter Sarah was abducted and murdered by convicted sex offender Roy Whiting 10 years ago, said Huntley "shouldn't get a penny". …

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