Save disabled prisoner Tom McMeekin from death by institutional neglect!

Tom McMeekin prison

Please sign the petition for Tom McMeekin
Justice for vulnerable prisoners
by his mother Susan Goodwill.

Tom McMeekin is 23 and severely disabled. He was paralysed from the neck down after a car crash. In October 2016 he was sentenced to seven years in prison for dangerous driving. Lack of feeding and care in prison have caused rapid physical and mental deterioration, and life-threatening complications such as sepsis. He faces amputation of his legs for hip dislocation caused by bad positioning and moving by prison staff.

Tom McMeekin had four passengers when the crash occurred, all his friends. Tragically two of his friends died and a third now uses a wheelchair. Tom was critically injured and is now unable to use his arms or legs or feed himself. He has heart and lung damage, has to use a nebuliser and be assisted to cough twice a day. He remembers nothing of the accident.

Disabled people are entitled to the care and support we need, wherever we are, at home or in prison. At HMP Leeds, Tom was placed on a prison healthcare wing run by the notorious company Care UK, which has been named in inquiries into deaths of vulnerable prisoners (see note 5), neglect in residential homes and in homecare contracts.  Within a few months he had lost about 30 kilos (four stone 10lb). He had admissions to hospital due to a deep pressure sore, a lung infection, bladder infections and life-threatening sepsis. Little attempt was made to meet his basic disability equipment needs. He was then transferred to HMP Moorland where there is no medical wing. He is currently on a wing for over-55 year-olds and sex offenders, with an agency nurse to attend to him at night, though he says some nights there is no cover and medication is missed.

Tom’s suffering has been immense. He should not be in prison. No prison can provide the complexity of care and management he needs to avoid deterioration and even death from complications. A Judicial Review (JR) is being prepared to show Tom’s unnecessary deterioration and suffering. Due to cuts in legal aid, there is no legal aid for disabled prisoners to challenge the appalling conditions in which they are kept. After the JR is concluded, his new solicitor will petition for Tom’s case to be heard in the Court of Appeal to secure his release. There are no funds available for this appeal.

Please sign the petition and keep in touch for news on how you can support.

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