I don't know if Norman Scarth will thank me for this letter, I don't suppose he will, but I don't care. All I want is for my friend not to die in Leeds jail.
Norman Scarth is a lovely man, and I am very upset that he is suffering in jail. He is honest, brave and loyal. If this country had a proper justice system Norman Scarth would have caused no offence to any of those people in the judiciary.
To put such a man as Norman into prison, when there are paedophiles at large to prey on children, and murderers laughing up their sleeves at how easy it was to avoid just punishment is a dark cloud over this nation, this land might be as green as ever, but is not so pleasant when injustice reings in our justice system.
Norman Scarth is a proud old warrior, and I don't think he will like this letter that I have written, but I can't help that. I am not Norman Scarth, and this is the letter I want to write, to the governor of Leeds prison, and I just hope and pray that he will read it and act upon it, and look after my dear old friend, and treat him with kindness and mercy.
7th August 2011
Dear Mr Baker,
I am writing to you about one of the men you have imprisoned in Leeds jail, an 85 year old man called Norman Scarth, who has been put into prison for Contempt of Court, because he videotaped a trial and put the footage of the trial onto YouTube. I am sending a copy of this letter to the Ministry of Justice and to my own MP.
I am very concerned to hear that Mr Scarth is feeling so cold in prison that he has to sleep in his clothes. I am also concerned that he has been told that he can only take 1 hour’s exercise every day, and if he cannot manage the full hour he cannot have any exercise at all. As Mr Scarth is 85 years old he is in danger of deep vein thrombosis if he is denied exercise. I also understand that Norman is refusing to eat.
I know Mr Scarth from my campaigning against institutional child abuse, and met him at a conference in Stoke on Trent. I was raped aged 11 and placed into a Pindown children’s home in Staffordshire, as a “place of safety”, it was a hellhole, it was a sort of a prison, and the staff were allowing paedophiles to come in and have sex with us children. Mr Scarth has been nothing but kindness to me. He is not the obnoxious old troublemaker that the media is making him out to be at all, but a very kind dear, valiant old man, who certainly did commit contempt of court, but only did so for the noblest of reasons.
Mr Baker, please do not let this frail old man die in your prison, as Andy McCardle did. Please will you go and talk to Norman yourself? Will you please make some allowances for him, to try to understand why he felt so strongly to defy the court and so end up in prison?
I know that you are only doing your job in keeping Norman incarcerated, the court sentenced Norman to prison and it is simply your job to hold him in custody, until either he has served his time or unless a pardon can be secured. All I am asking is that you look after this dear old man who has tried to help so many vulnerable people.
Barbara Richards aka Zoompad, author of “Tip”.