Friday, 4 June 2010

Remembering Karen Ann Fletcher

This report was orginally published on No More Prison's website in 2005

Report on Prison death demonstration held on Wednesday 09.11.05 outside Holloway Prison to protest against the death of Karen Ann Fletcher, 30, who died on 28.10.05

By Pauline Campbell

  • 16th demonstration since protests began in April 2004;
  • two-hour demonstration was attended by 25 protesters (including two ex-prisoners).
  • Prison van halted at 2.55 pm, as it attempted to take prisoners into the jail.
  • While the van was stopped, Duty Governor Mr McCaighy, and his colleague Mr Ryan, came out of the prison, and requested that the vehicle be allowed to enter the jail.
  • Request refused on the grounds that it was unsafe to allow prisoners to be taken into Holloway, following the recent death.
  • Police were called, and approx 15 officers attended the incident.
  • 3.15 pm: I was arrested (my 10th arrest since last year) for an "alleged obstruction of the highway", and taken to Islington Police Station.
  • Handcuffs were not used at this arrest.
  • After two and a half hours, I was released without charge. Custody Sgt White and his Inspector made the decision that it was "not in the public interest to continue with a prosecution".
  • I was held in the custody suite but not, on this occasion, locked in a police cell.


"It is believed that Karen Fletcher was recently transferred to Holloway from Styal Prison, Cheshire. Her death, the fourth at HMP Holloway since April 2004, again raises questions about the legal duty of care owed to prisoners. In addition, a Holloway inmate remains on a life support machine, after being cut down from a makeshift noose at the jail in May 2004. The Chief Inspector of Prisons' report, published earlier this year, highlighted problems of dirt and vermin at HMP Holloway."

Demonstration was attended by local photographers and reporters.

The Prison Governor did not respond to a note sent into the prison.

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