Supreme Court to hear Scottish appeal of murderer held in solitary confinement

Supreme Court to hear Scottish appeal of murderer held in solitary confinement

The Supreme Court is to hear an appeal next month from a Scottish prisoner who was jailed for the racially motivated murder of a schoolboy in 2006.

Imran Shahid is appealing on the basis his human rights were breached after he was held in solitary confirment for over four-and-a-half-years.

Mr Shahid, 38, whose gangland name is “Baldy”, is serving a 25-year life sentence for the murder of 15-year-old Kriss Donald in 2006.

He is claiming £6,000 in compensation, arguing his treatment has been inhuman and degrading.

The case could change how jails in Scotland treat vulnerable prisoners such as paedophiles and serial killers who are at risk from the rest of the prison population.

Scottish ministers have argued successfully that Mr Shahid was held separately for his own protection and the case, which was launched in 2011, has failed before a number of judges in the Court of Session, with his final Scottish appeal being rejected a year ago.

In that appeal, reported by Scottish Legal News, Lord Drummond Young, who along with Lord Menzies and Lord Wheatley heard the appeal, said: “The simple fact is that continuing threats to his personal safety were made. In those circumstances there was no alternative to segregation.”

A report from 2006 provided that prisoners at Glenochi jail in Clackmannanshire had warned authorities that if Mr Shahid was housed there they would murder him and that “there would be a queue of prisoners wanting to do it”.

Lord Drummond Young said he and the appeal judges were “quite satisfied that adequate grounds existed for the continued segregation”.

However, Mr Shahid and his lawyers argue that his segregation, which has to be periodically renewed, was unlawfully long between the time he was remanded in custody and 2010 and that it failed to follow the 2006 rules.

When he was allowed to join the general prison population he was severely beaten in a prison gym in Kilmarnock.

A fellow murderer, William Crawford, 25, admitted hitting Mr Shahid on the head with a 15kg weight as Mr Shahid was using a rowing machine.

After this, other prisoners joined in and began hitting him with metal poles.

The former gang leader was left with a fractured jaw and cheekbone as well as shattered teeth and various bruises and swellings.

The judges cited the case of Ramirez Sanchez v France, (2007) 45 EHRR 49 in which Ilich Ramírez Sánchez also known as “Carlos the Jackal” failed in his appeal against segregation in the European Court of Human Rights.

Lord Drummond Young said at the time: “While the segregation of the reclaimer continued for a total period of four years and eight months, cases such as Ramirez Sanchez make it clear that solitary confinement for such a period will not of itself be sufficient to violate the article.

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