Free David Ferguson

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Blog entry 2nd May 2016

Yet another month has passed and still my legal team have been unsuccessful in obtaining the release of the forensic evidence from Kent CPS and police. I now intend to instruct my solicitor to seek a court order for its release.

Meanwhile, having now served almost 17 years I can apply for what is called a 'Pre-tariff sift' review before the parole board. This would be to see if I could be transferred to open prison conditions. However, as HMP Wakefield has refused to recommend me to be downgraded from category A status this will not happen. The only reason HMP Wakefield refuses to reduce my category status is because I refuse to admit guilt for a murder that I did not commit. This is no more than thinly veiled blackmail.

National legal requirements state that maintenance of innocence must not be used to deny a prisoner from de-categorisation, progression or attaining release on tariff expiry. However, this is exactly what the HMP Wakefield review panels do.

On 99% of the risk reviews used by the prison system and probation I score as low risk. I have an exemplary prison record never having been placed on report. I have received numerous positive comments on my records, held trusted work positions, vastly expanded my qualification portfolio and have always complied with the rules, regulations and regimes. On paper I am the ideal candidate to be recommended for open conditions. This will be refused to me though because of HMP Wakefield's unwritten policy of hostility and discrimination against Cat A lifers who maintain innocence.

I will not even be allowed to present my case before the independent parole panel. This means that as well as not seeing or assessing my impeccable prison record, they will not be allowed to weigh the 3 independent psychology reports against those of HMP Wakefield's psychologists. All of the independent reports, each authored by eminently qualified psychologists, find that I do not need to be held as a Cat A and should have been de-categorised and progressed long ago. Nor will the independent parole panel be given the opportunity to consider that as a life sentenced prisoner who maintains innocence I fall into the group of prisoners who are statistically proven to have the absolute lowest rate of re-offending and re-conviction.

It is because of these factors and HMP Wakefield's policy of discrimination, blackmail and total disregard for nationally set mandatory rules and regulations that I have petitioned the Secretary of State for Justice, Michael Gove, directly. Over the coming months I will keep this blog updated with how this issue evolves and publish any response from Mr Gove in full.

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