Lawyers seek Hipwell jail transfer

Lawyers for jailed former Daily Mirror columnist James Hipwell have launched a campaign to get him moved to a category D open prison and claim he is a victim of discrimination on the grounds of his disability.

Last week they failed in a bid to have Hipwell’s three-month jail term for insider share dealing overturned.

An appeal against his conviction is continuing.

Hipwell, 40, was jailed on 10 February after being found guilty of making £41,000 in a "tip, buy and sell"

conspiracy through his City Slickers column between 1999 and 2000.

He was initially put in Bedford category B closed prison, but has since been moved to Littlehey category C closed prison.

He has a severe kidney condition and his lawyers believe this is the reason he has remained in a closed prison.

His lawyer, Harry Travers, said: "We believe he hasn’t been moved because of his medical condition, but we are trying to get to the bottom of it. They seem to think he needs 24-hour medical care and that he can’t get that in an open prison.

"He doesn’t need any more access to medical care than you or me, he just needs to go to out-patient appointments.

He is being banged up for 23 hours a day and is being discriminated against because of his medical condition."

Travers said he had written to the Prison Service warning them of possible legal action and had written to the Disability Commission asking if it would fund a case under the Disability Discrimination Act 2005.

He added: "It seems very unfair that someone who is already suffering from a medical condition should suffer a different prison experience because of that condition."

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