HC Deb 13 December 1956 vol 562 cc606-7
24. Mr. V. Yates

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that George Dean, a prisoner at Parkhurst Prison, was suffering from an incurable disease for some months, and died in prison on 17th November; and why he was not permitted to die outside prison.

Major Lloyd-George

Consideration was given during the final stages of Dean's illness to the possibility of authorising his release from prison, but in view of the fact that he had no home to go to and the medical advice that discharge would not promote recovery and that continued imprisonment would not shorten his life, it was decided that his release would not be justified.

Mr. Yates

Is the Home Secretary aware that this man had friends who were willing to receive him, and that when I saw him in October he was not expected to live many weeks? In view of the fact that he was one of thirty-seven prisoners who have died in Parkhurst Gaol in the past five years, not one of whom was allowed to die outside the prison, will the right hon. and gallant Gentleman look into this matter?

Major Lloyd-George

Of course I will look into any matter which the hon. Gentleman raises. I am allowed, if there is a chance of some improvement, to grant release temporarily for medical reasons, and there is also the Royal Prerogative. In the circumstances of this case, however, I do not think that any good purpose would have been served in view of what I have said—that it would have had no effect on his recovery. The number of prisoners who have died in Parkhurst is not surprising as many prisoners go to Parkhurst because of the state of their health and because they have a long period of detention.