A murderer is suing prison bosses for £10,000 after claiming that he is not getting a proper chance to train for freedom.
Stuart Quinn is serving 18 years for his part in the killing of a man in Craigneuk in 2001.
He says he has not been given opportunities for rehabilitation while behind bars and this failure will damage his chances of being released in four years time.
Quinn, who is in his early 40s and is from Craigneuk, has asked a judge at the Court of Session to rule that the prison authorities have ‘acted unlawfully’.
His lawyers say he has been deprived of the chance ‘to demonstrate to the Parole Board that he no longer presents an unacceptable danger to the public’.
Quinn was jailed for life along with two other men for the murder of David James at a flat in Glencleland Road, Craigneuk, in 2001. Mr James (37) was thrown from a first floor window before his killers stamped on him and battered him with broken concrete slabs.
Quinn is eligible to apply for parole in May 2019, but says his chances of release then have been damaged by the way the authorities prioritise prisoners for rehabilitation courses.
He claims he won’t be able to complete the relevant programmes before May 2019, so he wouldn’t be considered for parole then.
In response, the Scottish Government says Quinn has ‘misinterpreted’ the Scottish Prison Service’s guidance on training for freedom. He had complained that his progress through the rehabilitation process was too slow, but the rate of progress was a matter for the SPS and the court would interfere only in ‘exceptional circumstances’.
The judge, Lord Tyre, dismissed as ‘irrelevant’ the claim that there was ‘systemic failure’ in relation to rehabilitation for life prisoners.
However, he said he would be prepared to grant Quinn a fresh hearing on his own circumstances if legal documents can be re-worded.
The judged added that it would be ‘premature’ to consider an award of damages at this stage.