Minister’s apology to victim’s mother after picture of convicted murderer Edward Redman in prison posted on Facebook

Jay Whiston and mum Caroline Shearer

Jay Whiston and mum Caroline Shearer - Credit: Archant

The mother of a fatally stabbed teenager has been sent a personal apology by a government minister after pictures of her son’s murderer with his family in prison were posted on Facebook.

Edward Redman, who has been convicted of murdering Jay Whiston

Edward Redman, who has been convicted of murdering Jay Whiston - Credit: Archant

Edward Redman, 19, was convicted last year of killing 17-year-old Jay Whiston at a Colchester house party in 2012, and is currently serving a life sentence for the attack after he was refused leave to appeal against the conviction and sentence.

Jay’s mum Caroline Shearer, from Clacton, was shocked when she spotted a picture of Redman with his family taken in HMP Chelmsford on the social networking site.

It had been posted up by Redman’s brother.

Mrs Shearer was originally told the photograph had not come from the prison, but after further investigations confirmed this was the case both the prison governor Helen Carter and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling apologised to her.

Because Edward Redman did not directly post the image or ask someone to do it on his behalf, he has not broken any prison rules.

However the use of the picture on Facebook does break prison guidelines on issuing images taken of family visits – described as an important part of rehabilitation measures – to the family.

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In a statement Mr Grayling said: “I have personally written to Mrs Shearer to apologise for the distress and pain this photograph caused to her and her family.

“There are strict rules on photographs being taken in prison and on the back of Mrs Shearer raising this issue, we are making those rules explicit in the guidance to prisons, so that a mistake like this should never be allowed to happen again.”

Mrs Shearer said: “This was only six months into his prison sentence, and there is a picture of him cuddling his dad.

“You can imagine the upset it caused.

“Murderers are allowed to have their photograph taken every family day, once a month, and are supposed to be put into a secure place.

“It is ridiculous that it is allowed.”

In his letter to Mrs Shearer, Mr Grayling added: “I would like to say how sorry I am for this, and can only apologise for the distress and pain you felt as a result.

“This visit was part of arrangements to encourage the maintenance of ties between offenders and their families, as this is a key factor in reducing the chance of their reoffending.”