Mum of Paige Doherty condemns plans for prisoners’ Skype calls


THE MOTHER of murdered teenager Paige Doherty has lashed out at the prison service over talks to allow prisoners to communicate with their loved ones over Skype.

Pamela Munro said the prison service “just gets easier and easier” for convicts after it emerged that the UK government were being advised to allow inmates video calls in a bid to reduce reoffending.

The recommendation came in an independent review chaired by Lord Farmer, who was commissioned to investigate how helping prisoners to engage with their families could reduce reoffending.

But Pamela has called the idea a “disgrace” and asked why criminals should be allowed to see their family when they have often taken away someone else’s loved one.

Sharing a link to an article discussing the Farmer Review earlier this month on the Justice for Paige Facebook group, Pamela said: “The prisons just get easier and easier.

“Something needs be done. I think it’s a disgrace.

“We don’t get to Skype our lost loved ones that these criminals take away from us.

“Punishment has to mean punishment for any criminal to take it serious.

“The government is getting laughed at left right and centre by these criminals and the victims are losing more and more trust daily in them.”

She later posted another message hitting out at the Scottish prison service after hearing that a “Family Fun Day” had been held on at least one occasion for inmates.

She said: “Following on from my last post about Skype being allowed in prisons, I’m absolutely disgusted to learn that Greenock Prison also put on a Family Fun Day.

“I understand that there are smaller crimes and maybe for rehabilitation introduce wee days like that, but a fun day for murderers? peadophiles? It should not happen.

“This must be the same fun day I took Paige to…. oh wait I’m unable take her to any fundays anymore.

“So why the hell can people who take our loved ones from us have a fun day with their family?

“Surely you take someone from their family you lose any right to spend time with your own. Lets face it if their not getting out, it’s nothing to do with rehabilitation.

“The prison system gets worse.”

In the report, published on August 10 2017, Lord Farmer stated: “This would likely include most foreign nationals but also, for example, it might also be too disruptive for new babies, young children or teenagers studying for important exams to come into prison to visit at frequent intervals, but virtual visits would keep up the contact in the meantime.”

He added: “My report is not sentimental about prisoners’ families, as if they can, simply by their presence, alchemise a disposition to commit crime into one that is law abiding.

“However, I do want to hammer home a very simple principle of reform that needs to be a golden thread running through the prison system and the agencies that surround it.

“That principle is that relationships are fundamentally important if people are to change.”

A prison in Northern Ireland prison have already granted some inmates access to Skype and were highlighted in the review.

John Leathem, 32, was jailed for life and ordered to serve a minimum sentence of 27 years in October last year.

However, he had his sentence reduced by four years following an appeal which demanded the reduction on the basis that he left Paige’s remains in an area which was easy to locate.

Leathem killed Paige in a “savage and frenzied” attack at his sandwich shop in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire in March 2016 – leaving her with more than 146 injuries.

He moved her body in bin bags to the boot of his car and left her in a wooded area next to Great Western Road where she was discovered by a passerby.

Since his sentencing, Paige’s family have hit out at the justice sentence saying they should be ashamed for reducing his original sentence.