Slop-out prisoners to share £5.1m

PRISONERS forced to “slop out” will receive a share of £5.1 million in compensation and legal fees after the Scottish Government agreed to settle the 1,700 outstanding cases.

The agreement will draw a line under a decade of legal wrangling about whether or not the use of a chamber pot in a prison cell breached a prisoner’s human rights. More than 4,000 prisoners have already received payouts, with the eventual cost to the public purse expected to exceed £20 million.

The current cost, according to the Scottish Prison Service, is £18m but this excludes legal fees for the years during which the government insisted such cases were too old to be eligible.

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The last round of compensation is £5.1m and is the result of a decision by the Court of Session in Edinburgh in September which agreed the claims of three former inmates at Barlinne Prison in Glasgow could proceed, despite their cases being time-barred.

Tom Kelly, a lawyer who led the legal action against slopping out, said: “The main charge – now accepted to be true and accurate by the Scottish minister – is that Article Three of the European Convention on Human Rights was breached because of the appalling nature of the conditions of detention.”