A young man has been pulled out of Feltham Young Offenders Institution after severely harming himself, prompting a human rights court case that could pave the way for changes to the justice system.
The 21-year-old, known only as 'P', was moved to a secure mental hospital last week thanks to the Howard League for Penal Reform who intervened after he cut the tendons in his feet and inserted items into his body during his stay at Feltham since last March.
Yesterday a senior judge refused the man's bid to challenge Justice Secretary Jack Straw in the courts over a failure to protect his right to life under the Humans Rights Act, and the case is now likely to go to appeal.
Andrew Neilson, assistant director of the Howard League said: "This all comes down to money.The fact is primary care trusts are not willing to take on these cases and prisons are being left to deal with them.
"There is now an argument going on about whether he should stay at the hospital or go back to prison.We are very concerned about his safety - prison is not a hospital."