THE mother of a prisoner with inoperable lung cancer is pleading with authorities to release her only son before he dies.
Alison Whewell fears Brett Duxbury, 36, who has six months left on his sentence, won’t live to see his three teenage children and two sisters outside jail.
Alison, of Union Road, Oswaldtwistle, said: "He should be here at home with me – not dying in jail.
"He’s due out on 8 January 2010 and his cancer is never going to go away – they can only try and shrink it. He’s frightened of dying in there and we are scared."
The 54-year-old grandmother, who said she would care for Brett at her one-bedroom flat, said he should be freed, even if he has to be tagged. She recently rekindled her relationship with her son after he told her he had overcome his £280-a-week heroin addiction.
She added: "Surely sense is to bring him home with a tag. I know he’s a prisoner but these are exceptional circumstances, it’s not as though he’s got a broken arm."
After writing to Justice Secretary Jack Straw, Alison was told that Brett was still considered a medium risk to the public after absconding from an open prison in Kirkham last year. The Prison Service admit his illness is likely to be fatal.
The offence added six months on to his five-year sentence for twice burgling the home of an 83-year-old man in Darwen in February and March of 2007. He admitted the offences and said he committed them to buy heroin.
After coughing up blood four months ago, Brett – a former roofer – was diagnosed with lung cancer.
Currently held in Lancaster Castle prison, the former Ridings High School student will today (June 12) undergo his latest bout of chemotherapy.
HM Prison Service has acknowledged Brett‘s condition is likely to be fatal but refused his application for early release because he absconded from an open prison and was still considered physically able to commit further offences.
But Alison said: "During chemotherapy, he has a drip in one hand and is chained to an officer on the other. Afterwards, he can’t stay awake long enough to eat, never mind be a risk to the public. It’s awful and over the top." she added.
Hyndburn MP Greg Pope has since written to the director general of the Prison Service about Brett’s plight.
"He has committed a serious offence but I hope they will at least give consideration to this case," he said. "Understandably, Alison wants to care for him at home. I asked if he would consider allowing Brett to be allowed home all or part of the time on a tag, on passionate grounds and am waiting for a response."
Mum-of-three Alison added: "I can‘t fault Lancaster prison because they’ve been fantastic but I just want him home. He’s clean (from drugs) now and isn’t a bad lad.
"He’s my only son and I’ve always loved him.
"He might not have long left and needs to be with his family. We are all trying to stay positive and believe we can get him home in time to look after him."