Letters to The Guardian The Guardian,
We the undersigned write to you regarding Daniel Roque Hall, whose life hangs in the balance. Daniel is 30 years old and in an advanced stage of Friedrich’s Ataxia – an inherited, degenerative disease which causes progressive damage to the nervous system.
He has a life expectancy of 35 years.
Daniel was arrested at Heathrow in November 2011 attempting to import cocaine. He had never been in trouble before and immediately confessed. Border control staff had to send him urgently to hospital. He was sent home on tag to await trial, imprisonment being clearly unsuitable for someone with Daniel’s condition.
In June 2012, Daniel received a three-year prison sentence, despite the life-threatening medical implications of imprisonment highlighted by his GP and neurologist. On the assurance that its staff could meet Daniel’s needs, he was sent to the psychiatric ward of Wormwood Scrubs.
Daniel was admitted to University College London Hospital on Wednesday 22 August, following the neglect and abuse he suffered. His treatment, in a matter of weeks, had caused irreparable damage.
An injunction obtained on Tuesday has given Daniel’s lawyers seven days to argue his case. If they lose, Daniel will return to prison.
Despite the insistence of the governor, Wormwood Scrubs cannot and will not provide the level of expertise and care he requires.
We therefore urge the minister to ensure that Daniel serve the remainder of his sentence at a suitable place of confinement, properly adapted to his needs, or tagged at home.
Michael Lavalette National convenor, Social Work Action Network (Swan), Ruth Appleton Santé Refugee Mental Health Access Project,Peter Beresford Professor of social policy, Brunel University, Anita Castelino Social work student, Goldsmiths, University of London, Ben Cheney Social worker, Kerry Cuskelly Social worker, Anna Da Social work and learning disability nurse student, Ash Drake Social work student, Tom Henri Department of social, therapeutic and community studies, Goldsmiths, University of London, John MacDonough Senior social work lecturer, London South Bank University, Rea MaglajlicResearch and monitoring director, Mental Disability Advocacy Centre,Anna Mayer Social work student and Swan London, Dan Morton Social worker and Swan London, Nicki Ward Lecturer in applied social studies, University of Birmingham and Swan West Midlands, Alan WheatleyService user and Swan London, Cavan P Hall Company director, Ian Merrick Occupational therapist, Matthew Terdre Social worker, Holly Prins Social worker, Hugh Noble Independent mental health advocate,Karen Eves Social worker, Hamida Yusufzai Women’s Project co-ordinator, Lindsay Ballantine Retired university lecturer, Dr Frances Reynolds Health psychologist, Miranda Edwards Social worker, Paul Higgs Medical sociologist, UCL, Graham Scambler Medical sociologist, UCL, IR Jones Medical sociologist, University of Bangor, Michael Thorndyke Head of international development, Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences