HC Deb 11 December 1958 vol 597 c490
11. Mr. G. Jeger

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department whether he is aware that a girl aged 17 years was sentenced to three months' imprisonment at Woolwich on 2nd December for attempting to commit suicide; and whether he will ensure that she receives any necessary treatment whilst in prison.

Mr. Renton

Yes, Sir. The Senior Medical Officer of Holloway prison considers that she is mentally ill and is taking steps to see that she gets proper treatment.

Mr. Jeger

Would the Under-Secretary agree that a child of 17 who attempts to commit suicide is far more in need of care and attention than of a prison sentence? Would it not be better if she were removed to a proper place where she could receive that care and attention rather than be in prison surroundings?

Mr. Renton

This girl has attempted to commit suicide on four occasions. The case has a rather long history, which it would not be right for me to try to deploy now, but it is an interesting example of how criminal proceedings and even prison sentences can ensure that a person who attempts to commit suicide gets the treatment which he or she needs.

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