Dartmoor birch ban attacked

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HOME secretary Henry Brooke was attacked yesterday over his “reprieves” for two Dartmoor prisoners sentenced to birching.

Mr. Harley Cronin, general secretary of the Prison Officers’ Association, said: “These prisoners violently assaulted two prison officers and were sentenced to a birching.

“But Mr. Brooke, instead of upholding the visiting magistrates’ punishment, has decided to send the men to a psychiatrist.

“This is a most ill-considered decision. It betrays a lack of knowledge of prison conditions.

“If prisoners think they can get away with a visit to a psychiatrist instead of a thrashing every time they attack prison officers, then this could easily lead to further violent disturbances at Dartmoor and other prisons.”