Suffolk: Prison service denies allegations over inmate’s illness at open jail

Hollesley Bay

Hollesley Bay - Credit: Archant

Officials have refuted claims about Hollesley Bay open prison made by the wife of a Suffolk man bidding to overturn his murder conviction.

The allegations by Simon Hall’s wife Stephanie come after she said her husband, who is now at the jail, was taken seriously ill.

Hall is serving a life sentence for the murder of Joan Albert in Capel St Mary, in 2001. He has always denied killing the 79-year-old.

Mrs Hall, of Ipswich, has echoed previous claims about inmates being able to get hold of drugs in the prison.

In an open letter to Ipswich MP Ben Gummer, she also said there was an apparent lack of concern regarding the rehabilitation and resettlement of offenders, as well as claiming there are security breaches and welfare issues.

In addition Mrs Hall alleges discrimination, bullying and a lack of communication by staff.

In her letter Mrs Hall states she received a telephone call from the prison on February 25 informing her Hall had been taken to Ipswich Hospital, after she had expressed concerned about his well-being two days earlier.

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Mrs Hall said: “Simon’s heart had apparently stopped, he had numerous seizures and was in an extremely bad way.

“It appears Simon suffered an allergic reaction to a drug known as Zyban which had been given to him by the health care team at Hollesley Bay.”

The letter also claims Hall had also been ‘self-medicating on an illegal drug known as Spice which is still readily available in Hollesley Bay’.”

At the time Hall is said to have been struggling to make the transition from a closed prison to an open one.

Earlier this year Jonathan Robinson, a former Hollesley prisoner, expressed concerns about inmates’ opportunities for rehabilitation, along with other aspects of prison life.

Responding to Mrs Hall’s allegations, a spokeswoman for the Prison Service said: ““We refute this letter in its entirety. HMP Hollesley Bay has an excellent record of providing a safe and decent environment for prisoners.

“The most recent inspection found it to be a good, safe prison with inspectors praising healthcare, drug reduction strategies, and the relationships between prisoners and staff.”