Violently attacked by Wakefield search team

Kevan Thakrar prison

During my 13 days at HMP Wakefield in March 2010, I was severely mistreated. Every attempt has been made to cover this up since then, however it remains part of ongoing litigation. Prior to my return here in 2015, my solicitor raised serious concerns about plans to locate me back here, especially whilst the matter remains ongoing, but was assured that the constant use of a video camera during all interactions with prison staff and the additional protections of a double-door cell, with instructions that no officers enter whilst I am in it, would keep me safe from further harm. From the beginning, these assurances have proven meaningless, with my treatment worsening as time passes but even I was shocked by the stupidity of the latest attack upon me.

Just after 9am on Wednesday 19 October 2016 the prison’s Dedicated Search Team (DST) arrived at my cell door allegedly to complete a routine cell search. The officer in charge almost immediately manipulated a situation whereby he could enter my cell unnecessarily and refused to leave. The video camera was recording him from the start, yet he freely acted to provoke me with hostile and abusive behaviour, becoming more and more pumped up the longer he remained in my cell. After a few minutes, when I did not react, he flew into a rage and charged across the cell at me. As he did this, his back-up all followed him in a brutal premeditated gang assault.

Unknown to me at the time, a whole parade of officers were waiting outside my cell, eager to get in on the action and the route to a strip cell had already been organised. It is unlikely to be a coincidence that this incident took place at the time that the Prison Service’s response to my legal action was due to be submitted, and that it was not actually forthcoming until after the attack upon me. It would have been great for them to have all of those witnesses watch me react to the provocation, so it could then be used against me in the other case, but this seems to have massively backfired.

Unsurprisingly, the prison has attempted to suppress all investigations into this latest incident, even refusing to allow the police to meet with me in conditions where a victim statement could be taken after my solicitor reported the crime. As it would be admitting wrongdoing, they also continue to refuse to do anything about transferring me to a less corrupt location, and will not even stop the main perpetrators from coming onto the Close Supervision Centre (CSC), where I am held. This is all accompanied by veiled threats of future similar attacks from both the CSC governor and main prison governor, so clearly my safety at HMP Wakefield is not guaranteed. Ironically, the reason given for my continued detention here is so that my ‘care needs’ can be met; how that equates with my treatment to date is impossible to explain.

Please write letters of complaint about my treatment to your MP at the House of Commons, London SW1A 0AA, requesting they raise my situation with the Justice Secretary Liz Truss. Letters can also be sent to Michael Spurr at 7th Floor, Clive House, 70 Petty France, London SW1H 9EX.

Please visit and sign up to my online support networks at www.justiceforkevan.com and www.facebook.com/justiceforkev.

You can also write to me directly at: Kevan Thakrar A4907AE, HMP Wakefield (CSC), 5 Love Lane, Wakefield, WF2 9AG. I respond to all mail which contains a return address and I am sent all comments left online.

Kevan Thakrar

13 March will be the seventh anniversary of Kevan’s detention in solitary confinement in the Close Supervision Centre system. His supporters will mark the occasion by joining the Orgreave Truth and Justice campaign protest outside the Home Office, 2 Marsham Street, London SW1P, 2-4pm, in common cause with all those victimised by the British police and prison system.

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