Dad's call for nail bomb plot son to be jailed closer to home
The father of a teenager jailed for more than five years wants him closer to home so he can help his rehabilitation.
David Lee has no quarrel with his son Stuart’s five-and-a-half-years sentence for offences including plotting a fake nail bomb attack.
But he suffers poor health and finds the 120 mile trip to Dorset where is son is behind bars a real strain.
“Cost cutting means Gloucester prison closed, to the detriment of prisoners and their families,” said Mr Lee, from Pillowell near Lydney.
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“I’m not being partisan - all Governments are the same to me - but with Gloucester prison gone, and others, it means prisoners’ families are faced with long trips and if there is something holding you up, you could miss your slot.”
He said he has suffered heart problems in the past, and finds the three to four hour journey physically tiring.
Lee, 19, who turned his schoolboy interest in science into an obsession with lethal explosives, was locked up in August and could be released in June 2015 at the earliest.
When in HMP Bristol on remand, he was nicknamed ‘The Terrorist’ and Gloucester Crown Court heard how he was under the influence of illegal drug mephedrone and others in 2012 when he stole bomb-making ingredients.
He didn’t manage to make a bomb and was sentenced for 13 offences, including arson and stealing ingredients to make explosives.
He made a ‘fake’ nail bomb, which he set alight in a railway carriage at the Dean Forest Railway station in Lydney in July 2012.
Then he broke into the Whitecroft Essentials factory with the help of a 14-year-old boy stole two 30-litre containers of hydrochloric acid and sulphuric acid, as well as potassium cyanide.
The court heard told mephedrone had influenced his behaviour and his dad said that, the death of his mum when he was eight, and untreated psychiatric symptoms were partly to blame.
He did not excuse his son’s actions but wants to see him, and help him rehabilitate - if he is willing to.
A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said: "The closure of HMP Gloucester is part of a programme to replace old, inefficient places with newer, modern accommodation that provides better value for taxpayers while helping rehabilitate offenders and bring down our stubbornly high reoffending rates.
"We try to keep prisoners as close to home as possible, which is why we have also recently announced 70 resettlement prisons that will minimise prisoners' distance from their home areas and better support their rehabilitation and reintegration into their community on release."