The father of a graffiti artist (Ed: yes, they mean a vandal…) found hanged in jail has hit out at the "incompetence" of the prison system.For not stopping him from doing so, of course...
Tom was found dead in his prison cell at HMP Camp Hill in Newport on the Isle of Wight on the morning of February 7 last year.Ah. So, hardly in the depths of despair? He'd actually just got a reduced sentence...
He had been serving a 30-month sentence for conspiracy to commit criminal damage, which had been slashed by 10 months four days earlier following an appeal hearing.
During his sentence - the longest in the country ever given for graffiti offences - he was transferred to Camp Hill while his co-defendants remained in Wandsworth.Yeah, see, that's the thing about prison: You have to go where they send you! It's not to be confused with Butlins, despite the obvious similarities...
However he expected to return to Wandsworth to see out his sentence following his appearance at the Court of Appeal in London.
But Tom was left distraught when he was told by prison escort staff that he would be going back to Camp Hill instead.
His parents Debbie and Martin told News Shopper after Tom died that he never intended to kill himself and that his death was a cry for help to get him sent back to Wandsworth.Mmm, as I believe 'Buffy The Vampire Slayer' once opined: 'A cry for help is when you say'help' in a loud voice.'
Speaking after the verdict, Tom's father Martin said Tom had been let down by "a catalogue of errors" which contributed to his death.Strangely, those errors all seem to be made by other people. Not Tom himself. Or his family. At least, according to his doting dad, who seems to be remarkably well clued-in to his son's real intentions:
"Tom had a little plan where he thought that when (the guard) came round he would do a 'near miss' to get their attention and get himself off that hell hole of an island.Clearly, genius doesn't run in the family...
"He had a plan which turned into tragedy."
Naturally, this being a local news website open to comments, the first few are pretty much as you'd expect: incredulity at the fact that the prison service is the one getting all the stick for the actions of this hapless criminal.
And that attracts the do-gooders:
SosaysI, Abbey Wood says...Ooooh, it's a wonder you could type that, isn't it, while you hugged yourself in glee at your own enlightened self-righteousness? It draws a stinging (and accurate) rebuke:
Jurors were also told how key officers involved on the night Tom died had not read the relevant policies nor had they been taught how to respond to an emergency situation." and that the father says "it was a catalogue of errors". Clearly he had a point and the jury agreed. The comments here make it sound like he should be dead for graffiti. 'can't do the crime' and its his own fault. I'm no expert and I doubt other commentators are either but it seems this lad was unwell and in need of treatment AND supervision. Luckily the jury seemed to be far more enlightened. Maybe because they heard the facts or maybe they are not so quick to judge and condemn.
Biscuit, says...Which then summons the denizens of the underworld, in the form of the late, unlamented chav's friends and relatives:
No-one has used the terminology 'he should be dead for graffiti' apart from yourself.
This man (he was not a lad) dished out misery for many many years to a lot of people. His short prison sentence was a walk in the park compared to the despair he and the gang he led caused others over the years. Trying to wheedle out of his punishment by pretending to hang himself went wrong. So when I say 'if you can't do the time' I mean exactly that - don't do the crime.
He was arrogant and cocksure, but not unwell.
Sammy333, says...So eloquent, so brimming over with thwarted rage at 'the system' that brought her man down, so utterly out of kilter with society...
I think that people on here should learn to have some respect! Do you not realise that Tom's family and friends read these comments. It is both dis-respectful and plain evil to start slagging off someone who passed away without knowing the facts!
Tom was a genuinely lovely, kind, warm hearted man, people bring up the past about him having the asbo, but do you not believe in people changing? Because it is possible.
If you want to pay your respects for Tom, feel free. But dont start putting nasty comments.
xxxRIP gorgeous, love you alwaysxxx
justme1212, slade green says...Aaaaaand....breathe! Do they ration punctuation now?
just because he had an asbo u ever heard the saying everyone makes mistakes he was obviously young when he got it just becus he has been in prison doesnt mean hes a bad person he obviously has problems to even think about suicide let alone attempting it and u lot on here shouldnt be so quick to judge at the end of day he is still someones son,grandson and all u people have done is said he wrong becus he was in prison unfortunatly hes bate for attention went wrong which is sad the prison do not take proper care of people with that attempt suicide as well as the should that r suppose to look after prisoner with suicide faults but obviously this was not the case all im saying is no one is perfect and it could happen to anyone of us so dont be so quick to judge rip tom
tomssister, london says...Yes, that's right; we are discussing pondlife, but I don't think you've quite got the right end of the stick...
Hi everyone. Interesting comments. I find it astounding that anyone of you vultures see fit to take the moral high ground whilst gossiping and sniping about a person and a situation you know nothing about. You seem to be almost gloating. Biscuit, do you know my brother personally, because you certainly seem to think you do and to whoever said Tom was proud of his asbo, where did you get that from? What you are all doing is taking a tiny bit of fact and then adding your own version to make it all the more juicy for yourselves. Well go ahead, knock yourself out. If you enjoy discussing my brothers death and whether he deserved it or not then you carry on. If you think its acceptable to make up vicious lies about my 23 year old dead brother then be my guest!! ModernToss (what a fitting name, love it, ha!!) who gave you the say on what can and can't be posted on here. So you think its ok for you losers to come on here, say what you like about something you know nothing about and no-one is allowed to respond? How dare you!! You know nothing, NOTHING about my brother. You all clearly have something lacking in your own lives and personalities to be here in the first place. Pondlife is what you are. Look in the mirror before you dare pass comment on my brother. Tom is worth a million of every single one of you. Anyway, carry on with your blood baiting, as I am going. Oh and don't bother replying because I won't reading your posion you sad nasty people. Goodbye losers :)
And then there's the bravado:
luke1993, anerley says...Oh. Clearly, they aren't rationing punctuation; it's just that luke1993 has snaffled it all...
listen! the next time you want to say stuff about my brother then please do come and knock on our door and not hide behind a computer screen you pathetic mugs! you obvuiously dont have a life and sit around all day looking for stories that have nothing to do with you and dont know the half of what happened. tom left behind his younger brother(me), his sister, mum, dad and hundreds of good friends who all miss him like mad! basically what im trying to say is f*** off and get a life!!!!!!
Sadly, their little rallying of the troops only serves to draw more information to paint Tom in a slightly worse light than the newspaper report clearly intended:/applause
ho_ho_ho, says...And the kicker?
Fact is, its the family's fault Toms dead. The blame is at home. Any child that gets an ASBO, got one because their parents didn't do their job properly.
Any child that goes on to partake in such extreme criminal damage, after getting an ASBO, hasn't changed. The mother & father should look no further than their parenting skills. One son had an ASBO & prison term. Another is asking for people to come round and exercise their right to freedom of speech, so he can no doubt be violent and a sister that's only visible problem is her moral compass is understandably off kilter.
Lets see you and your family come on here and offer to pay for all of the costs that their son & brother caused in his criminal activities. It'd bankrupt you paupers for life, so I doubt any of you have spent a penny.
You just can't understand that the responsibility is yours and society doesn't accept blatant vandalism like your family does.
For anyone that wants to see "SKEAMS" work on the trains and read some moronic comments, Facebook.
jaded1, west wickham says...
Still haven't seen any of his family mention all "this angels" previous arrests.Breath not being held.
I apologise for the correct spelling and punctuation but I am not chav scum.
Update: It seems that the thread winner is Woopsthatwentabitwrong, New Cross who posted this little ditty:
ODE TO TOM
Tom, Tom, so sad that you're gone: Locked away for spraying graffiti,
You kicked the chair from under your feetie...
Don't you heed what everyone says:
You just didn't like the blacks or the gays...
I'm sure that hell ain't as bad as it seems:
Just brighten it up with tags saying "SKEAMS"