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.

6 Responses

  1. If you frighten a shrink in private by calling his bluff or insult one publicly he will lie. If it’s a insult delivered in the presence of his colleagues his colleagues will lie as well. If a member of the general public witnesses that no threat or attack took place the shrinks will simply make up stories of supposed events that occurred at other times.

    One way of getting out of Broadmoor would be to actually commit a serious criminal offence. A sane person would kill to get out of Broadmoor.

    You’d pick a target that no one would have any sympathy for. In court and in prison you would tell people that you were not mentally and could think of no other way of getting out. You would confide in some and/or write an account of your reasoning and intended actions prior to the event. (I’m sure this has been done before and I’m pretty sure something like this happened in Melbourne a couple of years ago, but it’s been kept pretty secret.}

    If you made it to regular prison you’d be treated with respect and not forcibly drugged. The conditions and the company would be much better. Prison guards are generally smart, funny, likeable people. They want good conditions so that things run smoothly for the prisoners and themselves.

    Psych staff are morons, every single one everywhere in the world, and they prefer squalid working conditions for themselves because they can use these to excuse their stupidity and incompetence. And of course the “patients” need to look like chronic patients so conditions are kept pretty bad and people are treated badly and deliberately provoked.

    They would probably sentence him to life without parole even if it was his first true conviction because they would know he was right but would want to save face. But I think he could get parole eventually if he behaved well in prison and continued to make a case for freedom.

    • Broadmoor is maximum security hospital, one way to get into Broadmoor is to commit a serious criminal offense. As the second article mentions, Peter Sutcliffe, the notorious Yorkshire ripper is being held there.

      People in an institutional setting should have the right to refuse to take psychiatric drugs, even if that institutional setting happens to be a prison. These drugs have a great potential for wreaking much physical harm on the person who takes them. Once solitary confinement is an option, there is absolutely no reason to resort to the use of what have been termed “chemical restraints”. When the fear is a “danger to others”, the correctional institution takes care of the matter by isolating the prisoner. When the fear is a “danger to self”, taking the drug constitutes just such a danger in and of itself.

  2. re :actually commit a serious criminal offence
    NO, you’ld just go to a criminal psychiatric hospital.

    Society has named psychiatrists as doctors, everyone in that society has to agree they are doctors. Thats it. Only in secret can an Usurper talk of his dislike of the unelected Kings rule.

    • Actually the matter is worse than you indicate. The problem is not merely that psychiatrists are mistaken for real doctors. There is no diabetes law, and there is no cancer law, but there is a mental health law. Doctors of psychiatry are given more power than other doctors with this power they have been granted over a patient’s freedom. There is no other category of medicine that practices imprisonment with such regularity. There is no other category of medicine that would dare claim confinement and torture therapeutically beneficial. Doctors of psychiatry have been granted a judicial power almost equal to that of judges. Their expertise is accepted without question, and their opinions, in the mental health field, are often taken for gospel.

  3. Hi guys… yeah… but I was thinking more about what I might do if I was in his situation. And sure many of the prisoners, maybe most, at Broadmoor have committed terrible offences and are terrible people.

    Someone new to this blog could skim through the entire blog and comments in an afternoon and get a good handle on Frank’s views and those of the regular commentators.

    I’ll sum up my view here:

    Psychiatry is bunk. It’s practitioners are not only the dregs of the medical and nursing profession they are the kind of people I would not want to know or deal with anywhere. When I was a little kid there was a particular type of asshole that I really hated. The smartypants, the liar, the blackmailer, the cheat, the teacher’s pet, the entitled, the do-gooder, the meddler. And then in my teens and twenties I Iargely forgot about them and hung out with decent people.

    But when I started nursing I started to meet up with them again. And if I worked in psychiatry they were ALL there.

    And then there are other types of undesirables. Dirty ugly people. Drunks, wise guys, thieves. And there are the fearful. Some are timid, some are angry. Some speak like poets or actors and are labelled schizophrenic or manic. Some people are so frightened they are virtually immobilized. they say they hear voices and have visions. These will definitely be labelled schizophrenic.

    Yet it has never been demonstrated that a single one of any of these people has any kind of medical condition that is both necessary and sufficient to be the cause of misbehavior or maladaptive behavior.

    If society does not know what to do with some types of people it would be better if a true representative of an informed society could say something like this to a person:

    “Everybody is different but one thing most of us have in common is that we don’t like you. We, the majority in this regard, will never trust you and in return you will always hate us. I hereby declare that you be (insert miscreants fate here)”

    As for all dedicated psych workers, they should be permanently and securely fenced into a barren desert wilderness. A water channel could run through it. Bags of rice could be dropped from a helicopter. They can eat rice soaked in dirty water. They should have nothing more.The rice could be in polyethylene bags. When their clothes wear out they can try making clothing out of the bags. I’d like to do the rice drops. From about 2 thousand meters… using a bombardier sight. After doing a surprise rice drop I’d like to fly a low pass with a loudhailer.

    About the only people who would miss them would be the religiously affected people who drive their children to suicide.

  4. This is pre-hearing but I thought you all might enjoy the sentiment:

    What they have done to this man is wrong.

    Rod, although I would debate matters with regards to medical conditions and maladaptive behaviours with you, I find your comments about those in the “profession” of psychiatry to be quite accurate.

    I hope we can be kinder to the types of inmates you describe; that is what they need more than anything else. I think I would be inclined to save my choice of “miscreant’s fate” for the psychiatric staff.

    I must say I had a good laugh at your proposal! It would be fun to put explosives in some of the rice bags and then set them off a few feet above the ground, thus scaring them and scattering the grains far and wide.

    Alternatively we could lock them up and employ some of our more anti-social inmates to force them to take their medications. Preferably administered in the form of irregular shaped suppositories.

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