HL Deb 01 April 1981 vol 419 cc295-6WA
Lord Brockway

asked Her Majesty's Government:

In view of the case of Stephen Thompson, now given an absolute discharge from Rampton mental hospital, two months after representations by Denis Howell, MP, and Lord Brockway, whether they will set up an inquiry into all the circumstances which led to the committal to Rampton of an individual found to be fit for normal civilian life so that faults in procedure can be removed and, if necessary, the Mental Health Act amended.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Belstead)

Mr. Stephen Thompson was transferred from Gartree prison to Rampton Hospital on 12th December 1980 because the Secretary of State was satisfied, on the basis of medical advice, that he was suffering from mental illness which, under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 1959, warranted detention in hospital for treatment. In my reply to the noble Lord's Question of 29th January, I indicated that my right honourable friend would be ready to consider very carefully any recommendation which he might receive from Mr. Thompson's responsible medical officer. After he had received such a recommendation and in the light of all the information available to him, my right honourable friend felt able to authorise Mr. Thompson's absolute discharge and did so on 13th March, 1981.

My right honourable friend has carefully examined all the circumstances of the case and is not persuaded that any additional inquiry is needed.