- Created: Wednesday, 27 June 2018 22:58
- Written by Nicki Jameson
On the 2 July 2018 the trial of five prisoners opens at Hove Crown Court. Ross Macpherson, Steve Goodwin, Dave Carlln, Shane Simpson, and John Udy face various charges of prison mutiny, criminal damage and violent disorder in relation to an incident at the prison on 29 October 2016.
The trial is due to expected to last four to five weeks. The prisoners are being held at Belmarsh in south east London and driven the 70 miles to court each day, having failed to get either themselves or the trial moved. Ross Macpherson has written to FRFI asking us to assist in publicising the case, which he says ‘will not only focus on the charges but also the unlawful conditions in the prison and the assaults we suffered at the hands of the prison staff, who ‘resolved’ the incident.
In another letter to prison support organisation MOJUK, Ross wrote: ‘On 9 December 2015 The Guardian published an article about a prison officer Kim Lennon who raised concern over the levels of violence and overcrowding at HMP Lewes. Unfortunately instead of taking on board and addressing the issues, the Prison Service sacked Kim Lennon and completely ignored the issues she had raised; instead, allowing them to manifest into one big cocktail of disaster.’
There were a number of prison disturbances in 2016/17 across the system. See http://www.revolutionarycommunist.org/britain/police-prisons/5255-birmingham-prison-spotlight-shone-nothing-done for our report on the trial that followed the 2016 revolt at Birmingham prison.
Supporters of the Lewes prisoners will be attending the trial throughout and in particular on the first day.
See https://www.facebook.com/events/2114564542113802/ for details.
Cards and letters of solidarity can be sent to Ross A Macpherson A6791AD, HMP Belmarsh, Western Way, Thamesmead, SE28 0EB