HL Deb 08 February 2005 vol 669 cc99-100WA
Lord Hanningfield

asked Her Majesty's Government:

How many convicted murderers were allowed out of prison on compassionate grounds in the past two years; and in each instance what is:

  1. (a) the name of the individual;
  2. (b) the length of time out of prison;
  3. (c) the reason why compassionate leave was granted; and
  4. (d) the places visited or stayed at by the individual whilst out of prison. [HL920]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal

Between 1 December 2002 and 30 November 2004, 1,273 licences were granted on compassionate grounds for offenders serving sentences for murder. We do not comment on individual cases, so it is not possible to provide the offender-specific information requested. However, the following table provides a breakdown of the main purposes for which compassionate release was granted. The statistics are based on information recorded on the central Prison Service IT system.

Total licences granted 1,273
Carer (e.g. sole carers to visit children) 98
Deaths (e.g. attending funerals) 43
Domestic circumstances (e.g. tragic personal circumstances) 17
Medical (e.g. Hospital appointments) 1,018
Religious Service (e.g. Marriage) 97

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