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Thread: Does anyone have any information on prisons and severely disabled inmates

  1. #1
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    Does anyone have any information on prisons and severely disabled inmates

    I need some advice and information regarding severely disabled prisoners.

    I myself am severely disabled. I have virtually no muscle strength and require extensive care (with everything). I use a motorised wheelchair with a specially moulded seat as my back is curved meaning I have no balance. I need all help with changing, showering, toileti etc. Even feeding.

    I have been prosecuted by the local authority for misusing my care funds. Fraud by abuse of position they saying. Anyway I have pleaded guilty to it and my sentencing is at crown court soon. According to the sentencing guidelines, starting point sentence for my offence is just over 3 years custody. With early pleading and mitigation I might still be looking at 2 years if it is not suspended.

    I have been unlucky in finding proper legal representation as most firms, if they have wheelchair access that is, have no idea about Direct Payments or experience with disabled people such as me. The solicitor is fighting it as benefit fraud but the prosecution and the courts are saying it is not. If it was then it would be a far lesser sentence.

    My second worry is that if I am sentenced to custody then how and who is responsible for my care. Interim care - or even wheelchair access - is not available in court cells. Only the newer courts have wheelchair access but no caregivers or equipment at hand, as you would expect. Prisons might not be prepared to take me or they might but then leave my care in limbo. I envisage that having some caregiver - or two in my case - at hand in prison would be logistically impossible.

    I have provided probation with my care plans - written by social services - and all other relevant information but I feel that due to the lack of knowledge from my legal rep, I might be at a huge disadvantage in getting my circumstances to the judge.

    Does anyone have any information on prisons and severely disabled inmates? Especially the care side?

  2. #2
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    I would think at a guess you'll be fine for jail. I take it its a first offence and not for 1 million pounds. The jails are bursting at the sides so if they can give you a loud telling off and you look really sorry and won't do it again you'll be OK. The fact you have pled right off the bat will go for you too. Defo get legal help though,even not the best will put you right. Hope this helps buddy

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    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Found this:

    Information book for prisoners with a disability

    Hopefully if it's your own budget that you have spent on something other than care they will just want it paying back.

    The only cases I can find of people being imprisioned is when they have taken and spent (stolen) the care budget of the person they were supposed to be looking after.
    Last edited by nukecad; 20-10-16 at 09:14.
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    Quote Originally Posted by terry01 View Post
    I would think at a guess you'll be fine for jail. I take it its a first offence and not for 1 million pounds. The jails are bursting at the sides so if they can give you a loud telling off and you look really sorry and won't do it again you'll be OK. The fact you have pled right off the bat will go for you too. Defo get legal help though,even not the best will put you right. Hope this helps buddy
    Yes, it is first offence. And amount just over £50,000 which warrants a 3 year custodial sentence before mitigation and aggravation. Then you get a third off for early pleading. There are counterfeit wage slips and bank statements which were charges 2 and 3. The prosecution accepted pleas on both of these which said a relative/carer was responsible but I was aware and let it happen.

    In mitigation, the severe disability is of concern alongside the care required plus equipment. Loss of rented housing association adapted property and difficulty in obtaining one again on release another and same with all the equipment required for care. Probably the heaviest mitigating factor is that being a single parent of an 8 year old with no family support system.

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    If no mitigating and aggravating factor are taken into consideration then, even with 3rd of early pleading, its just over 2 years and anything over 2 years can not be suspended.

  6. #6
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swadez View Post
    There are counterfeit wage slips and bank statements which were charges 2 and 3. The prosecution accepted pleas on both of these which said a relative/carer was responsible but I was aware and let it happen.
    So it's not just spending it on the wrong things, there is deliberate document falsification involved which makes it more serious.
    (Counterfeit bank statments were always going to be found out, banks keep very good records. What were you both thinking of?)

    Did the relative/carer spend any of the money themselves? If so then they can expect to go down.

    For yourself you can only hope that you get a very lenient judge.

    You have knowingly commited a crime. (The counterfeit documents say you actively planned it).
    You can't expect to use a disability or health condition as a "Get out of Jail Free" card.
    (And single parents get sent to prision everyday).
    Last edited by nukecad; 20-10-16 at 14:57.
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    Quote Originally Posted by nukecad View Post
    So it's not just spending it on the wrong things, there is deliberate document falsification involved which makes it more serious.
    (Counterfeit bank statments were always going to be found out, banks keep very good records. What were you both thinking of?)

    Did the relative/carer spend any of the money themselves? If so then they can expect to go down.

    For yourself you can only hope that you get a very lenient judge.
    The carer/relative spent most if not all on himself but he has not been charged or interviewed. In fact no effort has been made by Local Authority to find him. They have me and have charged me.

    Social services assessed me to require 5 hours of care each day. 2 of these hours were provided by outside carers with the other 3 by the relative. Records were not kept and funds from the account were spent on other household stuff. When local authority requested audit, wage slips and bank statements were altered to show payments had been made by relative. He emotionally and physically badgered me into letting him continue. Said he was owed the monies as he cared for me. Warned me that he would leave me without care and not only would I struggle with getting a replacement but lose my child as she would not be allowed to live with me if I could not care for myself.

    I myself was totally dependent, emotionally and care wise, on relative. He had control over all my affairs including banking. I have no strength or ability to do anything physical myself. I cant move from one place to another without assistance, need help with everything, including feeding. I can only use my right hand for short periods and even then with help. There is no chance I can use a cash machine myself. Or even a computer unless someone places it near me and assists. At plea hearing, prosecution accepted this for charges 2 and 3 in relation to wage slips and bank statements.

    I tried on many occasions to get away from him - calling police saying there was a stranger lurking around etc - but he realised and took my phone away too. He then physically hit me after killing my daughter's pet rabbits as a warning. Eventually, 2 things happened. My ex wife took over my care - after some persuasion - and I moved away after being offered a different property. Since then, 2 years ago, not seen him once apart for once in a crowded market. He also moved on as he owed money for loans that he spent on - along with my care money - on his mother's illness and funeral. Once my ex took over my care - soon as we moved away - I stopped my care payments altogether.

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    I'm sorry I don't have any advice, I just wanted to say that we are not here to judge you. That is what the British justice system is for. You have come onto this site for guidance, advice and maybe some reassurance. Please keep in touch with us and let us know how you get on, if you can. Your experience is probably unique and may help someone else in the future.

    I do agree that being disabled should not be a get out of jail free card, but equally the prison service will need to be able to meet your needs in prison or they will be committing an offence under the equalities act, (I think).

    Best of luck.

  9. #9
    Senior Member nukecad's Avatar
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    As kaff says we are not here to judge.

    I've twisted a few rules myself in the past.
    (When I was managing a pub none of the single mums working there did more than 16 hours a week; at least not on the payslips I did for them to show the DWP).

    But you have been caught and so have to accept whatever judgement the court hands down.

    And yes there are concerns about the ability of the prison service to meet it's obligations under the equalities act, not just for disability but also for the increasingly older prison population.
    Last edited by nukecad; 20-10-16 at 17:45.
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    If it was a direct payments account you spent, you sound intelligent and must have known that a DP account is NOT for personal use, for only for care. It sounds like you went into this knowingly and were aware of what was happening. You took a risk and got caught. As for the child: as nukecad says single parents get sent to jail every day.

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