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Psychiatric Inmate Loses Bid for Freedom From Broadmoor

Albert Haines

According to an article in The Independent, psychiatric inmate Albert Haines lost his historic appeal to a tribunal. The article at issue bares the headline, Broadmoor patient Albert Haines loses appeal bid. I think this an unfortunate and a wrong decision on the part of the judges who were apparently swayed by arguments from the hospital staff.

This article contains a little bit more information about the behavior for which Albert Haines was detained at Broadmoor, a maximum security psychiatric facility.

The 53-year-old Londoner has been detained in secure hospitals for the past 25 years and says he has lost faith in a system that he believes has failed to heal him. He was sectioned under the mental health act in 1986 after he pleaded guilty to trying to attack staff at Maudsley psychiatric hospital with a machete and a knife.

His relationship with Broadmoor psychiatrists had eroded to such an extent that Mr. Haines instructed his lawyers to request a public hearing rather than put up with the usual private hearing. The tribunal subsequently ruled that the nature of Mr. Haines “personality disorder” prevented his release either into a medium security hospital or into the public.

The judges said they were powerless to offer treatment advice to Broadmoor but they urged staff nonetheless to “find a pathway” for Mr Haines so that he might feel like eventual release was a possibility. “He needs to be offered a clear pathway and to understand that progress through engaging with the treating team will provide that pathway,” they said.

If Mr. Haines feelings are the issue here, the staff were encouraged to provide the best lie to placate the psychiatric inmate. I imagine another hearing will be necessary before there is any chance of gaining Mr. Haines release back into general society.

If there’s any good news to be found here, perhaps it’s that his lawyer intends to appeal.

Kate Luscombe, Mr Haines’ lawyer, was on her way to speak to her client this morning. She said she had already been instructed to appeal the decision.

After 25 years at Broadmoor, if this psychiatric inmate has not been “rehabilitated” sufficiently, authorities did not supply any reasonable estimation as to when Mr. Haines would be returned to “sanity”. It is my feeling that this decision represents a gross miscarriage of justice. I think the British public needs to come to Mr. Haines defense by insisting that 25 years confinement is way too long, and that it actually consists of cruel and unusual punishment. The detainee has not been, in the hospital staff’s estimation, “rehabilitated”, and the likelihood that he will ever be “rehabilitated” to their satisfaction, after 25 years, is remote.

An additional report in the BBC displays the transparent heading, Family fears Broadmoor patient Albert Haines will die in custody. His family pointed out in this story that he has spent more time in psychiatric hospitals than he would have spent in the criminal justice system if his case had been dealt with there.

His sister Denise, said: “I believe he is not going to come out alive.”

This is a very legimate fear considering the fact that Albert Haines has spent almost half of his entire life in psychiatric institutions.