Page last updated at 17:22 GMT, Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Rapist sues over lack of exercise

HMP Frankland
Malcolm is seeking damages of up to 50,000

A rapist serving a life sentence has started a High Court action for damages claiming he was not given enough exercise while held in segregation.

Leslie Malcolm, 35, says he was only given 30 minutes a day outside rather than a full hour while he was detained at HMP Frankland in Durham.

Malcolm, who is now at Wakefield Prison, is seeking up to £50,000 damages for breaching his human rights.

His allegations are being contested by the Ministry of Justice.

His barrister Phillippa Kaufman told Mr Justice Sweeney the action by Malcolm, who also alleges "misfeasance" in public office, was not "trivial".

'Breached guidelines'

She said he was denied the full hour of exercise over the course of 158 days.

Ms Kaufman said it was difficult to identify exactly what time Malcolm had spent outside each day, but the best "guesstimate" was a "period of 30 minutes or so".

Malcolm alleges he received less than an hour in breach of the mandatory guidelines that prison governors must ensure inmates held in segregation are "provided with the opportunity to spend a minimum of one hour in the open air each day".

Apart from the "short periods of time spent in the open air", the only other time he says he was able to leave his 10ft by 6ft cell was to shower across the hall.

Malcolm complains his access to air and light was limited, that there was "interference with his psychological integrity by causing him increased stress and feelings of indignity" and that he was humiliated.

He also says he suffered physical discomfort from joint pain and a general feeling of unfitness.

The Ministry of Justice denies liability.

The case continues.

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