HC Deb 28 May 1936 vol 312 cc2169-70

asked the Home Secretary whether he is now in a position to say anything regarding the case of Warder J. Jelly, of Wandsworth Prison?


On the morning of a day on which this officer was due to perform duty as a trade instructor, he stated that he had undertaken to attend at St. James's Hospital to give a, blood transfusion, and applied for leave to be absent from duty from 11 to 12 for this purpose. His application was made without previous warning, and, as the absence without notice of an officer detailed for essential duties seriously dis-organises the arrangements for the custody and employment of prisoners, he was told that he was not entitled to commit himself to an engagement during his hours of duty. The Governor explained the position to the hospital authorities by telephone, and on learning that it would be difficult to obtain a substitute at short notice, the Governor agreed, as an exceptional case, to allow Officer Jelly to absent himself from duty in order to attend at the hour named. The officer on being so informed then refused to go, but I understand he subsequently attended the hospital during his dinner hour. On the following day he addressed to the Prison Commissioners a letter of protest couched in such terms that they could only regard it as insubordinate and as indicating that the officer did not appreciate his special responsibilities as trade instructor. In view of the terms of this letter, the Commissioners decided that he should no longer be employed as a trade instructor but should revert to discipline duty. The officer has since been interviewed, at his own request, by a Commissioner and an Assistant Commissioner of Prisons; but after reviewing the matter in the light of his representations, the Commissioners have found no reason to modify their original decision.