THE mother of a dead convict is hoping to change the laws regarding the release of terminally ill prisoners.
Following the death and long campaign to release Brett Duxbury early, his mum Alison Whewell has set-up a group on social networking site Facebook named ‘Brett’s law’.
With more than 200 people already signed up Alison said: "It shows by people signing up to this that feelings do run high on this matter. Brett’s health was very poor when he was let go. He wasn’t able to sort things out because he had no time left, but his fighting spirit to make it home has spurred me on to do this. Despite the wrongs Brett did in his life he truly cared about his family and friends so this is why I feel I at least must try to change this law."
Father-of-three Brettt Duxbury was due home from Lancaster Castle Jail in January 2010 after serving a five-year sentence for twice burgling the home of an 83-year-old woman and absconding from an open prison in Kirkham last year.
The 35-year-old was released early on compassionate grounds and lived for 13 days as a free man at his mum’s Oswaldtwistle flat before dying on 23 November - surrounded by his three children, Jordan 17, and twins Abigail and Dominic, 15, and sisters - in Accrington Victoria Hospital from lung cancer.
Alison, 54, had long campaigned for his release ever since Brett was diagnosed with in-operable lung cancer earlier this year.
She said: "I’ve decided to try to change the law from the three months guidelines and see if I can get it changed so when people are told they are terminally ill and in prison - they can be released.
"My son was never a threat, never violent and should have been home sooner."
The current criteria for early release on medical grounds includes where the prisoner is suffering from a terminal illness and death is likely to occur within three months and further imprisonment would endanger the prisoner’s life. The service also needs to ensure that the release of a prisoner meeting the criteria would not put the public at risk.
Frances Crook, director of the Howard League for Penal Reform said: "When somebody is diagnosed with a terminal illness and is no longer a threat to the public, it is only right to release them."