Thursday, August 25, 2005

Brits Behaving Uselessly

Can't resist this to back up to the previous post - it exceeds all limits of parody. The Brit mass murder doctor Harold Shipman, who was jailed (no death penalty!) for murdering over 250 of his patients committed suicide in prison. So the Brits had a special inquiry which blamed - wait for it - the prison!

Staff at Wakefield Prison could not have stopped the serial killer Harold Shipman from killing himself, but they may have played some part in driving him to it, a report has found.

The decision to withdraw Shipman's prison privileges on December 11, a month before he hanged himself in his cell, meant that he was short of money to ring his wife, Primrose. It also meant he was allowed to see little of her over Christmas.

A prison doctor said that this had left the normally controlled and impassive prisoner "very emotional" and "close to tears" a week before he died.

He had served four years of his 15 life sentences for murdering at least 250 of his patients by injecting them with drugs.

Stephen Shaw, the prisons ombudsman who compiled the report, said that the death could not have been predicted or prevented.

But he added: "I am critical of the fact that staff at Wakefield do not appear to have been alerted to the man's long-term risk of suicide, or what might finally trigger it."

He also criticised the fact that staff wasted 30 minutes trying to resuscitate a man who was plainly dead; failed to call a paramedic; did not call a doctor for more than half an hour; and kept such sloppy records that it was impossible to reconstruct the timings of what happened that morning.

To practice being typically English, whine after me: "I blame the prison!"