Stories and reflections
In this space you can hear stories and reflections about the experience of unjust imprisonment so that you can encounter people through their own experiences and reflect on them more deeply. You might like to read and reflect together about what these people felt and were experiencing and imagine what it might have been like to go through such experiences. You might like to make notes and ideas in your journal or blog.
I was walking down the street to buy bread for my family. In my shopping bag I was also carrying a Bible because I was going on to a prayer meeting. I bought the bread and started back along the road when I was stopped by two men. One of them demanded to know what I had in my shopping bag. I said 'bread'. The other snatched the bag from me. I thought they were just going to rob me. But they threw the bread on the ground and took out the Bible. They wanted to know what I was doing with it. I said I was going to a prayer meeting. Then they started to abuse me and call me a 'filthy Christian'. Some people started to notice what was going on but nobody intervened or came to help me. The two men noticed the others watching and marched me round a corner where they bundled me into a car. I was driven to a police station in the next town. One of the men, who was a police officer, said he had arrested me for stealing and threw me into a cell. I started to cry. For two days after that I was given only water. Then one of the men came back and said the charges had been dropped but that I had better behave better in future. My family had come to the station and given over some money as a fine. But before I was let go the man beat and kicked me as a 'lesson'. My family would not allow me to go to prayer meetings any more or read the Bible. But I said the Lord's Prayer in my head and repeated passages of Scripture. They couldn't take that away from me.
Story told to and edited by ARR
Sally Clark's story
Sally Clark was a solicitor whose two children died as babies. She and her husband were charged with murder but the charges against her husband were dropped. An expert witness, Sir Roy Meadow, testified that the chances of a cot death occurring twice in a well-off family were so tiny they could be disregarded. Sally Clark was convicted in 1999 and sent to prison, where as a lawyer and a police officer's daughter she was targeted by other prisoners. Later it turned out that there were other reasons why Sally Clark's children might have died of natural causes. Sir Roy Meadow's evidence was also challenged. She was released on appeal in 2003, and many other cases in which Sir Roy Meadow had given evidence were reviewed, with other women being freed as well. However Sally Clark never recovered from her imprisonment. She was unable to adjust to normal life and was deeply afflicted by trauma and grief. She became dependent on alcohol and died in 2007. Sir Roy Meadow was found guilty of serious professional misconduct in her case.