Sheena Kotecha, 1982-2004. The verdict: “Left to die”.

I am grateful to Pauline Campbell for updating me on the result of the inquiry into Sheena Kotecha’s untimely, unnecessary and brutal death at the hands of the state. Privatised institutions employ staff at cut rates of pay and this is what we get. More.
In 2004 I wrote of my experience of meeting the family just as they learned of the beloved daughter’s death the previous evening. Jamnadas Vadhia had been visiting her at Brockhill Prison where he took her fruit to perform Hindu rituals. It was the only way to get nutritious food to Sheena who had two stone.
At the time the Leicester Mercury had likened the story to Bonny and Clyde. Their reporting today looks a bit different. All it did at the time was to hide the reality in order to get a bit of sensational reporting. I hope they remember this disgrace.

Pauline Campbell had then only just had the experience of losing her daughter in the same careless manner, but she was out at Brockhill demonstrating against Sheena’s death as she has done every time a woman dies in HM’s “care”. She has been arrested 15 times as a result with one expensive and unnecessary court case ahead.
Note contrary to the casual use of “suicide” in press reports, the official verdict was not this in the case of Sarah Campbell, nor in a number of other cases. It has to be made clear that the intention is to take ones own life and that has not been proven in these cases. Rather it is the neglect and lack of care within the penal institutions which has led to the deaths of vulnerable people with desperate health needs. New Labour doesn’t want to know and doesn’t care as it prepares for David Blunkett’s Super Jails.

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