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Murderers and drug dealer to get IVF in prison and you'll be paying! Criminals using European Human Rights laws to start families at taxpayers' expenseMinisters may be powerless to stop demands for treatment because of a ruling by European Court of Human Rights Turning down demands could lead to court action costing tens of thousandsNames and identity of the prisoners are protected but four are murderers and one a drug dealer
08:27 GMT, 28 December 2012
Four murderers and a drug dealer are in line for taxpayer-funded fertility treatment so that they can father a child from behind bars.
The killers are demanding to be allowed to take part in IVF treatment despite serving life sentences. Ministers may be powerless to refuse because of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights concerning the right to a private and family life.
Turning down the prisoners’ demands could lead to court action and compensation claims running into tens of thousands of pounds.
Killers are demanding to be allowed to take part in IVF treatment despite serving life sentences
Ministers may be powerless to refuse because of a ruling by the European Court of Human Rights concerning the right to a private and family life
The cases will provoke outrage at the rights afforded to individuals who have committed shocking crimes, and spur demands for action against the power of European human rights judges, who are also demanding an end to the ban on prisoners voting.
Last year the Daily Mail revealed that a prisoner had been given access to artificial insemination treatment on the NHS at a cost of around 2,000.
Since then, 13 applications have been made by inmates in England and Wales. Eight have been rejected but five remain in ministers’ in-trays.
The names and details of the inmates are protected by privacy laws, but three were convicted of murder, one of murder and aggravated burglary and the fifth of possession of a Class A drug with intent to supply.
Last year the Daily Mail revealed that a prisoner had been given access to artificial insemination treatment on the NHS at a cost of around 2,000
Last night Justice Secretary Chris Grayling, who has said he wants to ‘curtail’ the powers of the Strasbourg court, said: ‘There can be no clearer example of why we need changes to the human rights framework.
‘The European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg has extended its remit into areas which have little to do with real human rights issues and I intend to bring forward proposals about how we change that.’
Andrew Percy, Tory MP for Brigg and Goole, said: ‘When you commit a crime such as murder you should lose your rights and liberties.’
The doors were opened to a flood of new applications by a 2007 Strasbourg ruling in the case of a convicted killer, Kirk Dickson.
Dickson and a friend kicked to death a 41-year-old man in 1995 and he was sentenced to a minimum of 15 years.
He met his wife Lorraine through a prison pen pal scheme while she was serving 12 months for a 20,000 benefit fraud.
They married in 2000 after her release but while he was still behind bars.
In 2001 David Blunkett rejected the couple’s application to authorise her access to sperm donation from him for IVF treatment.
With at least 20,000 in legal aid, they took the case to the High Court and the Court of Appeal but were rejected at every turn.
In 2007 the case went to Strasbourg, when Dickson was 35 and his wife 49.
Ministers fought the case, arguing that losing the opportunity to have children was an inevitable result of being jailed.
But the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the Dicksons’ rights had been breached and handed them 18,000 in damages.