Banged Up ~ No Explanation Required
Tony Taylor, citizen of Derry and one of my patients at Racecourse Medical Group was arrested and taken to Maghaberry Prison on Thursday March 10th. He had been released on license for a further four years, following a three year prison sentence which ended just over a year ago.
Tony's license was revoked last Thursday, without any charges having been brought against him, nor evidence of wrong-doing produced. This was at the diktat of one Theresa Anne Villiers, a member of the British establishment, and Conservative Party MP for Chipping Barnet. Ms Villiers spokesperson confirmed that Tony’s arrest was on the recommendation of the Independent Parole Commission, another unelected body appointed by the Department of Justice. The reason given was that he poses a risk to the public. No further explanation seems required.
Since his arrest, Tony has remained in his cell in solitary confinement, as he is being held in a wing with ordinary prisoners, and thus is at significant risk of physical harm. I understand that he did not have access to food or medication initially, and have no definite confirmation that this is no longer the case.
As Tony’s GP I have serious concerns for his health and wellbeing. He has long-standing medical problems and requires regular meals and access to his usual prescription medication. His previous periods of imprisonment have taken their toll on his health, and he is at risk of serious adverse outcomes as a consequence of this arrest. Furthermore, Tony’s family have suffered hugely as a result of his periods of separation from them, and this current situation will be very stressful for them, especially for his son who has learning difficulties, and who will have major problems adjusting to the loss of his father.
One of the hallmarks of a civilised society is access to justice, and the presumption of innocence until found guilty in a court of law. Tony deserves nothing less. Should there be any evidence against him, this should be produced and he and his legal team be allowed a fair trial.
His family are tonight deprived of a husband and father at the bidding of a woman who received not a single vote in this country. I add my voice to the many calling for his immediate release.