Government would fight any payout to Soham murderer
THE government has "absolutely no intention" of paying compensation to Soham killer Ian Huntley after he was attacked in prison, Justice Secretary Jack Straw said yesterday.
Any claim by the 36-year-old, who required hospital treatment after reportedly having his throat slashed by a fellow inmate at Frankland Prison in County Durham, would be "robustly, vigorously resisted", Mr Straw told MPs.
The comments came after it emerged Huntley could be awarded up to 20,000 in compensation if he sues the Prison Service for negligence.
During Commons question time, Mr Straw said the government would fight such a move.
"There has been a suggestion, by apparently this prisoner's lawyer, that he will seek compensation," Mr Straw said.
"I can say to this House as an absolute fact that would be robustly, vigorously resisted by this government, and we have absolutely no intention of making such compensation payments."
He agreed with Tory MP Andrew Mackay that a successful claim would be an example of "the compensation culture gone absolutely mad".
Earlier, it was reported Huntley's fellow inmate, 34-year-old Damien Fowkes, from Northampton, was responsible for Sunday afternoon's attack.
Fowkes's stepson Lewis was reported as saying the father-of-one "did it for Holly and Jessica".
He added: "Most people will think Damien is a hero. I think he should be given a medal. The only pity is he didn't do a better job."
Fowkes's mother Jayne, 51, said her son has a daughter near the age of ten-year-olds Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, who were murdered by Huntley in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in 2002.
Fowkes was reportedly jailed for life in 2001 after carrying out a knifepoint robbery for drugs money. The Prison Service has not said what Huntley's state is, but said after the attack that his condition was not life-threatening.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 8 C to 12 C
Wind Speed: 25 mph
Wind direction: East
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east