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Thread: Murderer fights for right to study domestic murder degree

  1. #1
    Elite Member Honey's Avatar
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    Default Murderer fights for right to study domestic murder degree



    Killer: Patricia Berriman (right) was murdered by Stanley Matthews (left) in 2000 - authorities have refused to let him submit a paper on domestic violence

    A JEALOUS boyfriend who brutally murdered his teenage girlfriend has launched a legal battle for his right to study domestic violence and homicide.
    Stanley Matthews attacked 17-year-old Patricia Berriman with a tent mallet before slashing her throat with a catering knife at their remote cottage at Blunts, near Saltash in South East Cornwall in September 2000.
    At Plymouth Crown Court in August 2001 Matthews admitted the murder and was sentenced to life imprisonment to serve at least 15 years.
    The convicted killer, now 53, has already achieved an undergraduate degree behind bars. And he was back in court yesterday arguing that his chances of an Open University masters degree are being blocked by the prison authorities.
    A keen social policy student, Matthews has selected domestic violence and homicide as the subject for his latest academic paper.
    But the Governor of Kent's Swaleside Prison last year ruled it was "entirely inappropriate" for someone like him to be studying such a subject and refused to allow him to submit the paper, on which he had been working for three months, to his Open University tutor.
    Matthews – described at trial as having "a history of groundless jealously and violence" with previous partners – is arguing that the Governor's stance amounts to a violation of his fundamental human right to education and freedom of expression.

    His barrister, Stephen Field, said the blocked assignment penned by Matthews was "purely hypothetical" and it was "wholly unfounded, illogical and irrational" to make him tear it up.
    Attacking the decision as "deplorable", Mr Field claimed it had nothing to do with any risk Matthews may pose to society but was about "public perception" concerns and what the Press might say if he is allowed to continue his studies.
    "Matthews is not a defiant person. This is a pure academic exercise and it is perverse, now he has done all the work, not to allow him to submit it", Mr Field told Judge William Davis QC.
    Matthews, who has since been transferred to Gartree Prison, in Leicestershire, says his study of the social context and motivation of domestic violence perpetrators may prove valuable to the police in tracking down and stopping criminals, just like him.
    The father-of-five says the subject he has been working on was at first approved by Swaleside Prison's education department and he now has a "reasonable expectation" that, having done months of painstaking work, he will be allowed to submit it to his tutor.
    Mr Field said that, if allowed to do so, Matthews would be keen to carry out "empirical research" into domestic violence – including interviewing victims and perpetrators – but agreed that that wish was likely to be "frustrated".
    But Ivan Hare, for the Justice Department, denied that the blocked assignment is just hypothetical. In order to gain a masters degree, he said Matthews would have to carry out practical research, including interviewing others who had killed or beaten women.
    Recognising the importance of the case, Judge Davis yesterday afternoon reserved his decision on Matthews' judicial review challenge and will now give his ruling in early October.
    It was 10 days after Matthews killed Miss Berriman that her body was found in a state of advanced decomposure in the first floor bedroom. Matthews, whose previous marriage collapsed because of increasing violence, was arrested the following day in Tideford.
    At that time, Patricia was working as a chef at the China Fleet Club in Saltash, where she had helped Matthews get a job as a kitchen porter.
    A letter found in Matthew's car described how his girlfriend had come home from work and there was a change in her attitude." She wanted a new man, basically younger. I was an old fart, it hurt me deeply," said Matthews. In the letter, Matthews said he "flipped" and hit her on the head several times with the mallet, which broke.
    Describing himself as "possessed" he added that as his girlfriend lay there bleeding he pulled the knife across her throat. He wrote: "I killed my babes. It took no more than 20 seconds."

    Murderer fights for right to study domestic murder degree

  2. #2
    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I think he chose to give up his rights. He has none.
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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    i'm not saying he should be allowed to do this research but i do take issue when people say prisoners have lost all their rights. it's not true. human rights are universal and inalienable and apply to all people, even the scum.
    this isn't a matter of human rights though.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    *thinks of self now as "people".*
    Nope-I disagree. He took away the life and even the right to live of his victim.
    I do have a different opinion for a prisoner who was guilty of-say-stealing a car. That was a short-term insult to the victim. Said victim can recover. Not his victim.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    So he was 45 when he killed his 17 year old 'girlfriend,' huh?

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by celeb_2006 View Post
    So he was 45 when he killed his 17 year old 'girlfriend,' huh?
    Now,she was guilty of lack of taste-make no mistake. BUT-not usually given a death sentance for that.
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member sputnik's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by McJag View Post
    *thinks of self now as "people".*
    Nope-I disagree. He took away the life and even the right to live of his victim.
    I do have a different opinion for a prisoner who was guilty of-say-stealing a car. That was a short-term insult to the victim. Said victim can recover. Not his victim.
    it's not about agreeing or disagreeing. it's a matter of law. whether we like it or not, prisoners are still afforded human rights while in captivity. no one ever loses those. well, except for prisoners in guantanamo, etc.
    I'm open to everything. When you start to criticise the times you live in, your time is over. - Karl Lagerfeld

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sputnik View Post
    it's not about agreeing or disagreeing. it's a matter of law. whether we like it or not, prisoners are still afforded human rights while in captivity. no one ever loses those. well, except for prisoners in guantanamo, etc.
    That is my opinion I was stating. I like it not!
    I didn't start out to collect diamonds, but somehow they just kept piling up.-Mae West

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    Elite Member Shinola's Avatar
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    I don't see what the harm of him studying this topic is. I doubt it will be of tremendous value to other people--master's-level work normally isn't--but it might have helped him develop some insight. If prisons claim to have rehabilitation as one of their goals, then it seems like studying the crime you've committed would be fine.

    As for interviewing victims and perpetrators, I'm not sure. Assuming, though, that he has the right to receive visitors, and that someone were willing to visit him, again, I think he should be able to proceed. Or maybe he could do telephone interviews or ask people to correspond with him.

    All of that with one limitation: if his work is of poor quality, then I'd say he shouldn't be able to proceed. People outside prison have to produce research and writing of reasonable merit, and I'd want the same to apply to a prisoner.
    Posted from my fucking iPhone

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