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POTTY PAYOUT; pounds 58million is set aside to pay off prisoners forced to slop out in cells.

Byline: By MARK SMITH

TAXPAYERS face a potential pounds 58million bill for prisoners who were forced to use potties in Scotland's jails.

The figure was revealed yesterday as prison chiefs announced plans to make cash offers to up to 300 prisoners who had to slop out in shared cells.

The move follows the pounds 2,450 award to armed robber Robert Napier who claimed he suffered eczema when using a chamber pot at Barlinnie in Glasgow. It is understood the

300 would each receive a similar amount, making a total of pounds 735,000. The Scottish Prison Service is fighting 1,100 other cases involving prisoners in single cells.

The Napier case left the SPS with a pounds 1.5million legal bill and the SPS has set aside pounds 58million - up pounds 9million from last year's estimate of potential costs.

But the possible payout was last night blasted by the SNP. Shadow Justice Minister Kenny MacAskill said: "This is an appalling mess entirely of the Labour-led Government's creation.

"They repeatedly failed to act. It is disgraceful criminals are being compensated for enduring conditions many law abiding citizens would envy."

Slopping out is now confined to 350 prisoners at two jails.

At Polmont Young Offenders Institution, it is due to end next year, and in Peterhead prisoners have to use chemical toilets because the jail's granite structure makes modern plumbing difficult.

reporters@mirror.co.uk

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Sep 16, 2006
Words:239
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