- Minister of Justice
- United Kingdom
29 year old Daniel Roque Hall is in an advanced stage of Friedrich’s Ataxia, a degenerative, life-limiting disease. Wheelchair-bound, he has little voluntary movement. Speech impaired, he has difficulty swallowing, his heart is seriously damaged and he has Type One diabetes. Curvature of the spine puts pressure on his heart causing breathing difficulties and constant, severe pain. Intellectually he is unimpaired.
Daniel needs 24 hour, one-to-one care. An exercise regime repeated many times a day is vital to maintain as much muscle strength as possible and to reduce pain.
Never having been in trouble before, Daniel was arrested at Heathrow in November 2011 attempting to import cocaine. He immediately admitted his crime. Detained for questioning, the seriousness of his medical conditions meant that Border Control had to send him urgently to hospital; it was deemed appropriate that he then be sent home, tagged, to await trial, imprisonment being clearly unsuitable for someone with Daniel’s severe disabilities.
Daniel appeared on four occasions before a judge at Isleworth Crown Court; committal to prison could not take place until assurances were given by Wormwood Scrubs that Daniel’s health needs could be adequately met. His neurologist’s report stated: “If the appropriate support is not put in place, Mr Roque Hall can deteriorate quite rapidly”.
On July 6th Daniel was sent to prison, the judge having received an eleventh hour assurance from the governor that Daniel’s health needs would be met.
Within two hours of arriving at Wormwood Scrubs, Daniel, left alone on an examination trolley, had fallen off owing to an involuntary muscle spasm and suffered a head injury. Daniel takes Warfarin, a blood-thinning medication, so needed an immediate CAT scan for possible brain haemorrhage and other internal bleeding. The prison was not intending to act; it took repeated and insistent phone calls from Daniel’s friends before he received the necessary hospital treatment.
Daniel was taken to an old people’s home, where he remained chained to a prison warder 24 hours a day, was given no exercise whatsoever and was served food impossible for a diabetic to eat; after five days of this regime, Daniel was transported back to Wormwood Scrubs and denied access to his lawyer for 14 days.
In the prison hospital wing, primarily housing prisoners with mental illness, Daniel is being denied the care he needs for his conditions. Wormwood Scrubs refuses to allow him to use any exercise equipment, essential for preventing further deterioration. Owing to this, he is in pain so severe he is unable to sleep. The effect of prison for Daniel is further and irreversible damage to his health and the shortening of his already curtailed life expectancy. It is “degrading, inhumane and manifestly disproportionate” (Private Eye, 27th July 2012). He is deteriorating daily.
We, the undersigned, call on the Minister of Justice urgently to reconsider the case of Daniel Roque Hall before further irreparable damage is done to Daniel's health and before his already reduced life-expectancy be further diminished.
Wormwood Scrubs is woefully incapable of providing for the needs of a prisoner suffering from an advanced stage of Friedrich's Ataxia and we urge the Minister to ensure that Daniel serve the remainder of his prison sentence at a suitable place of confinement, properly adapted to his needs, or tagged at home.
The Justice for Daniel Roque Hall petition to Minister of Justice was written by angela qasir and is in the category Justice at GoPetition.