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Ron Adams of the Prison Officers' Association
"Some inmates might want to gain kudos by assaulting Shipman."
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Wednesday, 2 February, 2000, 16:10 GMT
Shipman protected in jail

shipman Shipman will be protected against assaults

Harold Shipman will be protected in prison from other inmates who may want to attack him, say warders.

The UK's biggest serial killer will also be on "suicide watch" - a precaution for any prisoner who may be considered at risk of taking their own life.
The Shipman murders

Ron Adams, of the Prison Officers' Association, said: "I know this might sound abhorrent to the general public but it's our job to look after prisoners with humanity and that's what we do.

"So we'll be making sure that he's OK and his needs are met and we'll be moving him to an appropriate prison as soon as possible."

Shipman, who received 15 life sentences, is being held in Manchester's Strangeways prison before being transferred to a different jail.

strangeways Shipman is being held in Strangeways

Two prison officers there have been given compassionate leave as it is believed their mother was one of Shipman's victims.

Mr Adams, of the POA, told the BBC that although prison officers themselves may be affected by Shipman's crimes, their job was to look after the needs of all prisoners.

"Our key function is to assess him, to get him to a prison that can look after his long-term needs, and at the same time to prevent him from committing suicide and prevent other prisoners assaulting him."

In hospital

Mr Adams said there was a chance that because of his notoriety, other inmates might seek to gain kudos from assaulting Shipman. His officers' job was to prevent those assaults, he said.

"I dare say there is a chance that prison officers may be assaulted themselves in protecting him but that's part of the job we do - we are the ultimate professionals."

Shipman will be watched very closely for at least a couple of months while he settles in, and will not be associating freely with other prisoners, Mr Adams said.

"Lifers" normally spend a couple of months in the jail's hospital at the start of their sentence, he said.

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See also:
02 Feb 00 |  Health
BMA 'jeopardised' Shipman trial
02 Feb 00 |  UK
Shipman jailers given leave
01 Feb 00 |  UK
Hundreds join prayers for Shipman victims
01 Feb 00 |  UK
Shipman town gripped by 'terrible atmosphere'
31 Jan 00 |  UK
Shipman jailed for 15 murders

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