Lifer. 45 Years in Her Majestys Prisons

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They believe he may have turned killer after plaguing local brides with telephone calls or doorstep visits. They want to know if any other newly-weds in the area have had mysterious callers or can describe suspicious callers. This involved compiling a list of all the guests at the wedding of Claire and Bernard the previous September. Exhaustive efforts were made to find the murder weapon. Residents in the vicinity of the murder were asked to search their gardens for a long knife with a serrated blade. Dogs were used and Royal Engineers from Maidstone were called in to use mine detectors in the search.

The River Ravensbourne was to be dragged, reported the Daily Telegraph. However, their efforts were fruitless. No murder weapon was ever found. Meanwhile, the police had been busy collecting evidence from the murder scene. Fingerprints were taken and fibres collected. The coffee mug from which it was thought the killer had drunk was taken away for forensic testing and the Christmas cards which Claire had kept from the previous festive season were taken, to see whether they could provide any leads.

In late Claire Parvin was working on Saturday mornings as a sales assistant at a dress shop in Beckenham, on the south-eastern side of Greater London. In mid this position became full-time. It was here that she met Mary Esson, another young sales assistant in the dress shop. It did not extend to socialising out of work hours.

It was here that she met Roger Payne, a tall, slim, good-looking young man of twenty-three. They fell in love and became engaged in February Since Mary had left the dress shop, she and Claire had lost touch for a time, so it was a complete surprise to Mary when, a week or two after Roger left, Claire came to work at LSA Travel. She stayed only a few months, leaving in July , but she would sometimes phone the Travel Agency to talk to her former workmates including Mary.

Mary recalled later that Claire was among a small group of her friends who, although not invited guests, came along to stand outside the Church, see the wedding party and wave and smile their good wishes. Roger Payne apparently was unaware of this group and was to say later that he had never met or seen Claire Parvin until after his marriage. Mary and Roger Payne went to Morocco for their honeymoon and returned to live in Harrietsham, a village seven miles east of Maidstone in Kent.

As a result, Mary gave up her employment at the Travel Agency. Mary answered the letter and in the following months the young women corresponded further. On this occasion, Roger phoned her there to ask if she wanted him to pick her up, which he did. He did not come inside. Mary and Roger were not guests at the wedding but sent a congratulatory telegram. Claire and Bernard moved into the flat at Deepdene Court on 25 October Claire and Mary had little opportunity to meet in the next few months but had not lost contact.

At Christmas Claire sent a card with a letter, telling Mary of their holiday abroad and the new flat and giving her their new address. Mary, in turn, sent a card from herself and Roger and looked forward to an opportunity in the new year to see Claire again and visit the new flat. Claire put the card aside after Christmas, with all the others they had received on this, their first Christmas of married life. Roger was planning to visit his mother, as usual on a Sunday evening, at Carshalton, Surrey.

Mary sometimes accompanied him on these visits but on this occasion, she felt like an evening of chat with a friend. A phone call to Claire assured Mary that she would be in that evening and would be happy for Mary to come and visit. Roger drove Mary to the flats, dropped her at about 6. A young woman named Trudy Clapp and her boyfriend were also there. They left after some time, however, giving Claire and Mary a chance to talk and catch up on their news. Bernard was there but watched television most of the evening. Mary found his manner disconcerting.

In her later statement, she said:. Her husband was watching television all evening. He did not seem very friendly. He just about managed to speak and then only when he was spoken to, and at one point he told myself and Claire off for talking. Roger arrived at the door at about 10 p. He was invited in and Claire offered him a drink. Mary recalls that it was Coca-Cola, which she and Claire were also drinking when Roger arrived. Although she had already been shown round, Mary joined the tour, accompanied by the dog on his lead.

Bernard was still watching television but exchanged a few words with Roger. At about It was the last time Mary would see her friend. One of the first steps was to check the names against their lists of people with police records. This search almost immediately bore fruit, when a name on one of the Christmas cards matched that of a man who had two previous convictions, one of which had resulted in him being sentenced to three months in prison from March to June That man was Roger Payne.

He immediately became their prime suspect. Perhaps for this reason, his mother was left to her own devices for a long time while in labour. Certainly the birth was not straightforward. After this, the baby was delivered by forceps. In the nineteenth century, her great-grandfather had gone with his regiment to the West Indies, where he had married a native West Indian woman.

Roger remembered that his grandfather was very dark and that family legend had it that, when his mother was young, dark and very pretty, she was often mistaken for an Indian princess. Roger was the only child of the marriage. Years later he wrote:. Even my earliest recollections are of a tyrannical father physically abusing both my mother and myself.

It is all the more reprehensible that he was a professional man — a chartered accountant — who gave all the outward appearances of respectability. His tyranny extended to all areas of human activity, but especially the domestic. The young boy was not allowed to open any cupboard nor enter any room, including the toilet, without first seeking parental permission. Irene found this treatment of her beloved son unbearable so on 10 November , when Roger was eight years old, she left her husband, taking her son to live with her parents at 48 Lindsay Road, Worcester Park.

He and my grandmother— who had worked before her marriage as a seamstress sewing gas mantles— were to have six children, only two of whom…survived infancy, the rest perishing from a wasting disease called marasmus. I loved both grandparents. My grandmother tended to spoil me, a fact which also sometimes added to the friction between her and grandfather.

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Presented to Roger Payne on his twelfth birthday. From the teachers and officers. In he wrote:. These two important events in that year meant that all the students were presented with a commemorative history of the school. A quotation on the flyleaf of the book explains the source of the title. Its facilities at the time included spacious technical workshops, science laboratories, a domestic block with a housecraft flat, and a gymnasium and swimming baths.

The Chapel had a magnificent organ and there was a new library, a music school and a Hall. The first admission of girls was in , an initial intake of thirty-six, the number increasing over the years till numbers of boys and girls were equal, before the end of the decade. A percentage of the pupils were the children of clergy and missionaries serving overseas. This was not long after the end of World War II, and children of men killed in that war were included in the enrolment.

Roger Payne always spoke proudly of his public school education. In spite of the school having a more broadly representative student body than other public schools, it nevertheless had the cachet which attaches to a boarding school that has control over its pupil intake and the benefit of a long and proud tradition. It brought him into contact with people he would otherwise not have met, from a wide range of backgrounds and it gave him a definite polish, evident in his manners, speech and confidence.

His intelligence meant that he was successful. Although he did not outshine his peers academically, he nevertheless did well enough to please himself, his teachers, his mother and his grandmother. A Christmas card from this period, kept by his mother, shows choirboys, singing as they ascend the steps to a church — possibly the school Chapel — holding aloft a lantern. In his first year at Witley Roger was taken, along with the entire school, to a cinema in Godalming to see the film of the conquest of Everest, which had happened on 29 May , just before the Coronation.

Years later, he wrote to a friend, who had written telling him of a recent trip to Paris:. During his years at Witley, Roger saw his Mother and grandmother quite often. They had moved, two years after the death of his grandfather, to 63 Dorchester Rd. Witley is not far from London, so he was able to go home for some weekends and for holidays. As far as Irene was concerned, her son was the centre of her world and she did all she could to make his life happy.

She took him on bus trips to places such as Bournemouth, which he remembered fondly. They also had holidays in various seaside resorts. As a child, I used to greatly prefer a caravan holiday to the stiffness and formality of a hotel or boarding house, and indeed the last holiday I spent with my mother, as late as , was spent in a caravan at St. Although I was packed off to boarding school when I was eleven, I do feel that in some ways, the privileged education I received for the next five years somehow gave me the resources and sufficiency to withstand what has since happened to me.

HMP Pentonville London (Britain's Toughest Prisons)

And I know that, even in such a place as this, the learning I received has enabled me to be of service to those less fortunate than myself, whose education has been almost non-existent. It was in the six years immediately after he left school that Roger Payne ran foul of the law, leading to him becoming a person of interest to the police investigating the murder of Claire Josephs. His first job was with an insurance company when he was seventeen. The other young men with whom he worked were all products of the state school system and seemed to be far more wordly-wise than Roger.

Although Witley was co-educational, rules were strict and boys and girls were not permitted to spend time alone together. His knowledge of sex was limited to what he had picked up in conversation with his male friends. This was not particularly unusual in the s but among his workmates at the insurance company, Roger felt himself to be hopelessly inexperienced. He wanted to gain some experience of sex so that he could join in the workplace conversations but was unsure how to go about it.

Lacking guidance and wise example, he chose the wrong way. In July when Roger was seventeen, an incident occurred at the house of an old school friend. Roger was a frequent and welcome guest at the house and at one time, had been allowed to keep a key to the front door. On this occasion, however, he should not have been there. He knew there was to be a party in the house that evening in the absence of the parents and that a young woman with whom he was slightly acquainted would be staying overnight.

As teenagers do, friends had told Roger that Phyllis might be interested in him. Roger had spent that day in Eastbourne with his friend, who had told him of the party. So in the early hours of the morning when he knew the guests had left, he went to the house. He had a plan to gain the sexual experience he wanted. When he arrived, the household was asleep. Significantly, he had armed himself with a knife and an unloaded air pistol. The statement given to police at Wallington Police Station on 7 July tells his version of events:. Following the war the prison continued as a military " glasshouse " until it was returned to civilian use in The prison's closure was announced in January and completed in March As of [update] it is open as a visitor attraction and event venue, and tours are available.

The prison was established as a house of correction in to comply with the Bridewell Act of King James I requiring that every county have such a house. The gaoler was not paid, instead making an income from fees from his prisoners; for example, for providing them with liquor.


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In , a commissioner appointed by Parliament to inspect prisons around the country reported that sanitation at Shepton Mallet House of Correction was extremely poor. He said:. Many who went in healthy are in a few months changed to emaciated, dejected objects. Some are seen pining under diseases, expiring on the floors, in loathsome cells, of pestilential fevers, and the confluent smallpox. Victims, I will not say to cruelty, but I must say to the inattention of the Sheriffs , and Gentlemen in the commission of peace. The cause of this distress is, that many prisons are scantily supplied, and some almost totally unprovided with the necessaries of life.

In additional land was purchased to extend the prison, and around this time men and women began to be held in separate areas. Further extensions were carried out from to , with the prison holding about prisoners. A report into the state of prisons in Somerset by Sir John Hippisley of Ston Easton Park in criticised the conditions in which prisoners were held. The building for the treadwheel and other new buildings were designed by George Allen Underwood. The wheel remained in use until Other prisoners were engaged in breaking stones which were used for roadbuilding, oakum picking unpicking old ropes and other tasks.

Further building work to designs by Richard Carver , the county surveyor, was undertaken in the s and s. Additional building work completed the enclosure of the quadrangle or exercise yard. In number 11 of Ward 8, no less than eight men have slept in the same room in company from January to September, , although in this very room there are only six bedsteads. Boards are brought in and placed on the floor when the bedsteads are not sufficiently numerous.

Ilchester Gaol closed in , with the inmates being transferred to Shepton Mallet and Taunton. By the population was only 61, overseen by a governor, three warders, six assistant warders and a night watchman. Other staff included a chaplain and assistant chaplain, a surgeon, a matron and a school master. Within ten minutes the town fire brigade , which was provided by the Anglo-Bavarian Brewery , was in attendance. The fire had spread quickly within C block and was fought by prisoners, warders and firemen working together; prisoners helped to man the hoses and worked the fire engine pumps in shifts.

Monitoring prisons in England and Wales: who ensures the fair treatment of prisoners?

Despite the opportunity offered by the disruption, no prisoner attempted to escape. Whilst contemporary photographs show that the roof of C block was substantially destroyed, the building itself, being constructed of stone and concrete, remained nearly intact. Consequently it was not necessary to transfer any prisoners to other jails.

In the Prisoner Commissioners recommended to the Government that Shepton Mallet Prison should be closed because it was under-used, [24] having an average population in previous years of only 51 inmates. The total number of executions at Shepton Mallet in its early years is unknown. Seven judicial executions took place within the prison walls between and Their remains were buried in unmarked graves within the walls of the prison, as was customary following British executions.

The prison was reopened for British military use in October In all about tons of records were transported to Shepton Mallet. During their time at Shepton Mallet the archives were still able to be accessed. The prison was entirely staffed by American military personnel during this period. The first commandant was Lieutenant Colonel James P. Smith of the th Military Police Battalion. At times during its use by the Americans Shepton Mallet held many more men than it had before. At the end of there were soldiers imprisoned, guarded by 12 officers and 82 enlisted men.

Under the provisions of the United States of America Visiting Forces Act , eighteen American servicemen were executed at the prison: sixteen were hanged in the execution block and two were shot by a firing squad in the prison yard. Three of the hangings were double executions, i. Of the eighteen men executed, nine were convicted of murder, six of rape which had not been a capital offence in the United Kingdom since , and three of both crimes. A Channel 4 film claimed that a disproportionate number of black soldiers were executed.

The Americans constructed a small, two-storey building containing a gallows of identical design to those used in British prisons adjoining one of the prison wings. There is an external wooden door on the ground floor which gives access to the area underneath the trapdoor. It was through this door that the bodies of executed prisoners were removed. The barred steel mortuary door, located below C wing, directly faces the external wooden door to the execution block.

The execution block is sandwiched tightly between two much larger buildings, close to the rear of the prison. Visually, it clashes with the other architecture because it is made of red brick, whereas the rest of the prison is constructed from stone. The executioner at most of the hangings was Thomas William Pierrepoint, assisted mainly by his more-famous nephew Albert Pierrepoint , though some other assistant executioners were used, e. Alex Riley and Herbert Morris.

Lifer. 45 Years in Her Majesty's Prisons by Joy Grant Hicks - Read Online

Albert Pierrepoint is known to have disapproved of the Americans' practice of reading out to the condemned man as he stood on the trap-door the details of his offence and sentence, then allowing him to make a final statement. The part of the routine which I found it hardest to acclimatise myself to was the, to me, sickening interval between my introduction to the prisoner and his death.

Under British custom I was working to the sort of timing where the drop fell between eight and twenty seconds after I had entered the condemned's cell. Under the American system, after I had pinioned the prisoner, he had to stand on the drop for perhaps six minutes while his charge sheet was read out, sentence spelt out, and he was asked if he had anything to say, and after that I was instructed to get on with the job.

The names and dates of American military executions are as follows: [58]. Initially, the remains of American prisoners executed at Shepton Mallet were interred in unmarked graves at "Plot X" in Brookwood Cemetery. Plot X was located in a distant corner of the cemetery, away from the other plots and adjacent to tool sheds and a compost heap. Executed prisoners interred there were not given coffins, but were put into cotton mattress covers and buried in individual graves under numbered markers. Plot X had room for one hundred graves and was the first effort to segregate executed Army prisoners from those who had been killed in combat.

In all eighteen bodies were exhumed. The remains of David Cobb were repatriated to his home of Dothan, Alabama. Plot E is a private section intended for the "dishonoured dead" which is situated across the road from the main cemetery. Visits to Plot E are not encouraged. Public access is difficult because the area is concealed, surrounded by bushes, and is closed to visitors. The US government published a list identifying the occupants of each grave in Three other American soldiers also died accidentally at Shepton Mallet.

They asphyxiated as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning in a locked cell in which the ventilation shaft was blocked with leaves and a naked gas-lamp had used up most of the oxygen. In September the prison was once again taken over by the British Army and became a British military prison " glasshouse " for service personnel. It was used for soldiers who were going to be discharged after serving their sentence, provided that sentences were less than two years.

If more than two years, the sentence was served in a civilian prison. Amongst the soldiers held here were the Kray twins who, while serving out their national service in the gaol after absconding, met Charlie Richardson. Thirteen soldiers were subsequently tried by court martial , [97] and five were sentenced to three years' imprisonment; the remainder were acquitted. Those with a non-parole term greater than three years may be released by the State Parole Authority at any time after serving the non-parole term.

Victoria 25 In Victoria, the calculation of the expected time to serve is based on either the non-parole period set by court or the aggregate sentence and the following: If a court sentences an offender to be imprisoned in respect of an offence for the term of his or her natural life or a term of two years or more the court must, as part of the sentence, fix a period during which the offender is not eligible to be released on parole, unless it considers that the nature of the offence or the past history of the offender make the fixing of such a period inappropriate.

If a sentence of less than two years but not less than one year is imposed, the court may set a non-parole period. The non-parole period must be at least six months less than the term of imprisonment and must be in respect of the aggregate sentence that the offender is liable to serve under all the sentences imposed. Time spent in detention prior to the commencement of the sentence counts toward the time to be served under sentence if the sentencing judge so orders. Pursuant to section 74 of the Corrections Act , the Adult Parole Board of Victoria may release an offender upon the expiration of the non-parole period but release on that date is at the discretion of the Board.

Queensland 26 In Queensland, with the exception of sentences of indefinite length, earliest release date is calculated based on the date the prisoner is eligible for parole pursuant to the Corrective Services Act CSA. Different parole eligibility date PED calculations apply depending on the offence for which the person has been convicted and the length of the term of imprisonment given by the sentencing court.

The CSA prescribes two types of parole — court ordered parole and board ordered parole. Parole is the only form of early release available to prisoners in Queensland. Court Ordered Parole 27 A person sentenced to a term of imprisonment of no more than three years, and the term of imprisonment is not for a sexual offence or a serious violent offence is eligible for court ordered parole, pursuant to Part 9, Division 3 of the Penalties and Sentences Act PSA.

Under Court Ordered Parole, the court must fix a parole eligibility date at the time of sentence. The person is released from custody on this date under section of the CSA. Board Ordered Parole 28 A person sentenced to a term of imprisonment greater than three years, or to a term of imprisonment for a serious violent offence or for a sexual offence must apply to the Parole Board for parole.

The calculation of a parole eligibility date PED depends on the offence for which the person has been convicted. Mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment also apply for particular offences in Queensland. Prisoners with a life sentence have a PED of: if section 2 of the Criminal Code applied on sentence multiple counts of murder — after 30 years if section 4 of the Criminal Code applied on sentence murder of a police officer — after 25 years if the prisoner is serving a life sentence for murder and sections 2 or 4 were not applied on sentence — after 20 years otherwise — after 15 years if section E of the PSA applied on sentence a repeat serious child sex offence — after 20 years.

South Australia 36 In South Australia, the Truth in Sentencing legislation implemented in August determines the way in which release dates are calculated. This legislation: requires prisoners with an aggregate sentence of five years or more to formally apply to the Parole Board for release on parole enables the Parole Board to release prisoners with an aggregate sentence of five years or more at its discretion provides directions for the judiciary to take the abolition of remissions into account when ordering sentences.

Prisoners with a non-parole period NPP and an aggregate sentence of less than five years are paroled automatically. Release dates for prisoners are calculated as follows: Where a prisoner has not had a NPP, the earliest date of release is the aggregate sentence end date Where a prisoner has a NPP and an aggregate sentence of less than five years, the earliest date of release is the end date of the NPP Where a prisoner has a NPP, and an aggregate sentence of five years or more, the earliest date of release is the earliest date the prisoner can be released by the Parole Board.

If this date has expired and no further release date has been set by the Parole Board, the earliest date of release becomes the aggregate sentence end date, which in the case of Life or Other indeterminate sentences would be unknown. Western Australia 37 In Western Australia, expected time to serve is determined differently depending on whether sentences are less than 12 months or sentences are 12 months or more.

Sentences less than 12 months 38 For sentences less than 12 months, expected time to serve is determined as follows: Before August the expected time to serve is calculated between the sentence start date and the two-thirds time date or effective date of release EDR. Sentences 12 months or more 39 For sentences 12 months or more expected time to serve is determined as follows: Sentence Imposed before August Where no parole term is specified, the minimum sentence is calculated between the sentence start date and the two-thirds time date or EDR. If the Minimum Sentence is 12 months or less, the expected time to serve is calculated between the sentence start date and the two-thirds time date or EDR.

Where a parole term has been specified, the minimum sentence is calculated between the sentence start date and the EED. If that Minimum Sentence is more than 12 months, the prisoner will be eligible for release on a Re-Entry Release Order release is subject to approval by the Prisoners Review Board , and the expected time to serve is calculated up till the RRED.

If that Minimum Sentence is 12 months or less, the expected time to serve is calculated between the sentence start date and the EED. Sentence Imposed on or after August Where no parole term is specified: For sentences equalling 12 months, the prisoner must serve the full term and the expected time to serve is calculated up until the sentence expiry date maximum date. For sentences greater than 12 months the prisoner will be eligible for release on a Re-Entry Release Order release is subject to approval by the Prisoners Review , and the expected time to serve is calculated up until the RRED.

Where a parole term has been specified: For prisoners sentenced before January , the minimum sentence is calculated between the sentence start date and the EED. If that Minimum Sentence is more than 12 months, the prisoner will be eligible for release on a Re-Entry Release Order release is subject to approval by the Prisoners Review Board , and the expected time to serve is calculated up until the RRED. Prisoners sentenced to a parole term on or after January are not eligible for release on a Re-Entry Release Order and the expected time to serve is calculated between the sentence start date and the EED.

If the Prisoners Review Board has not set a release date but has set a review date, that review date is used. Tasmania 41 In Tasmania, the calculation of expected time to serve is based on the totality of all sentences less remissions which may be granted on eligible sentences. Northern Territory 44 In the Northern Territory, expected time to serve is calculated as follows: Prisoners whose sentences commenced prior to July will be discharged with one-third remissions or at the expiry of the non-parole period, as approved by the Northern Territory Parole Board.

If the parole date has elapsed, the date eligible for remission is used if applicable or else the full-term expiry date is used. Prisoners sentenced after July have an expected time to serve based on their non-parole period if this date has elapsed the EDR becomes the full-term expiry date , a fixed release date or an earliest release date based on a suspension of sentence after a set period of time.

Prior to sentencing legislation amendments in , prisoners sentenced for murder were given a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of receiving an earliest date of release, e. Impact of indeterminate sentences 47 While all states and territories have access to indeterminate sentences as a sentencing option, the degree to which that sentencing option is utilised varies considerably across states and territories, particularly for Homicide and related offences. This can impact on mean and median aggregate sentence length and expected time to serve data as prisoners with an indeterminate sentence are excluded from these calculations.

They are not representative of all prison sentences imposed by the Criminal Courts.


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The mean and median sentence length of prison sentences being served by prisoners on the night of 30 June will be longer compared to the mean and median sentence length of all prison sentences handed down by the Criminal Courts. This is a consequence of the fact that prisoners sentenced to longer prison terms are more likely to be enumerated in the Prisoner Census.

Prisoners that are sentenced to shorter prison terms over the course of a financial year are more likely to have completed their term by the 30 June, whilst prisoners that are sentenced to longer prison terms are more likely to remain in prison including prisoners sentenced to imprisonment in previous financial years who are still serving their term. For sentence length data relating to all defendants given a prison sentence by Criminal Courts during a financial year, please refer to Criminal Courts, Australia cat.

They exclude prisoners with an indeterminate, life with a minimum or post-sentence detention sentence. They exclude prisoners with an indeterminate or post-sentence detention sentence. Time on remand 51 Time on remand data in this publication refers to time on remand to date as at 30 June of the reference year and not the total time spent on remand. Time on remand is influenced by a number of factors, particularly the time it takes for a case to come before a court. Mean and median time on remand is not representative of the total time spent on remand for all prisoners. Changes to calculation of time ranges 52 In , the methodology for the calculation of time ranges for Aggregate sentence length, Expected time to serve and Time on remand was updated, following a review of the process and is now considered more accurate.

The impact on the data was minimal. Prisoner rates are expressed per , adult population, in accordance with international and state and territory practices. Estimates and projections for Australia exclude the external territories of Christmas Island and the Cocos Keeling Islands, with the exception of table For table 22, data on country of birth excluding external territories are not available.

As a result imprisonment rates by country of birth may be slightly lower than would be the case if these data were available. Prior to , data for crude imprisonment rates were based on unperturbed data. As per previous years, age standardised imprisonment rates are calculated from unperturbed data. As a result, the rates per , adult persons in the Prisoner Census have been recast, and all now use final ERP data based on the Census of Population and Housing.

From onwards, this includes persons aged 18 years and over for all states and territories except Queensland, where it is persons aged 17 years and over. For more information about Australian Capital Territory prisoners held in New South Wales prisons, refer to paragraph These respectively imply a high, medium and low overall growth rate of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population.