Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Early Release - Psychiatric Division

The case of John Barrett, who despite 'a long history of mental illness and violence' - including stabbing his fellow mental patients - was released from a loony bin to stab Dennis Finnegan to death the following day, is only the latest in a long and dishonourable line of early releases from mental institutions.

Thallium's much in the news at the moment. Let's turn back the clock to those swinging sixties. There's a blogging connection, too.

"Young was arrested on 23 May 1962. He confessed to the attempted murders of his father, sister, and friend. The remains of his stepmother could not be analysed, as she had been cremated.

Young was sentenced to 15 years in Broadmoor Hospital, an institution for mentally unstable criminals. He was released after nine years, when he was deemed "fully recovered." During his years in the hospital, however, Young had studied medical texts, improving his knowledge of the effects of poisons on the human body, and had continued his experiments, using fellow inmates and hospital staff as guinea pigs.

After his release from prison in 1971, he worked at a photographic supply store not far from his sister's home in Hemel Hempstead in nearby Bovingdon, Hertfordshire. His new employers received references from Broadmoor hospital, but were inexplicably not informed of his past as a convicted poisoner. Soon after he began work, his foreman, Bob Egle, grew violently ill ..."

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