|Location||Parkhurst, Isle of Wight|
|Security class||Adult Male/Category B|
|Population||497 (as of August 2008)|
|Managed by||HM Prison Services|
|Website||Parkhurst at justice.gov.uk|
Parkhurst prison is one of the two prisons that make up HMP Isle of Wight, the other being Albany. Parkhurst and Albany were once amongst the few top-security prisons (called "Dispersals" because they dispersed the more troublesome prisoners rather than concentrating them all in one place) in the United Kingdom, but were downgraded in the 1990s.
The downgrading of Parkhurst was preceded by a major escape: three prisoners (two murderers and a blackmailer) made their way out of the prison on 3 January 1995 to enjoy four days of freedom before being recaptured. One of them, Keith Rose, was an amateur pilot. During those four days, they were living rough in a shed in a garden in Ryde, having failed to steal a plane from the local airclub. A programme entitled Britain's Island Fortress was made about this prison escape for National Geographic Channel's Breakout documentary series.
Parkhurst enjoyed notoriety as one of the toughest jails in the British Isles. Many notable criminals, including the Richardson brothers, the Yorkshire Ripper Peter Sutcliffe, Kenny Carter, Moors Murderer Ian Brady, Terrance John Clark (Mr Asia Drug Syndicate), and the Kray twins, were incarcerated there. Teacup Poisoner Graham Young died there of a heart attack in 1990.
Parkhurst began in 1778 as a military hospital and children's asylum. By 1838, it was a prison for children. 123 Parkhurst apprentices were sent to the Colony of New Zealand in 1842 and 1843, and a total of almost 1500 boys between the ages of 12 and 18 years were sent to various colonies in Australia and New Zealand. Swan River Colony (Western Australia) received 234 between 1842 and 1849, then chose to accept adult convicts as well. Victoria and Tasmania also received Parkhurst Boys, who were always referred to as "apprentices", not "convicts". Prison Governor Captain George Hall employed boys to make bricks to build the C and M block wings onto the building.
Parkhurst became a prison in 1863, holding young male prisoners. Almost from its beginnings as a prison for young offenders, Parkhurst was subject to fierce criticism by the public, politicians and in the press for its harsh regime (including the use of leg irons initially). It became a particular focus of critique for reformers campaigning against the use of imprisonment for children, most notably Mary Carpenter.
On 2nd August 1845, Queen Victoria visited Parkhurst and recorded the visit in her journal. "After luncheon we set off in closed carriages for Parkhurst Prison which is beyond Newport, on the Cowes side. Ly Charlemont, Sir James Graham (who stays over Sunday) & the Equerries went us. Parkhurst is a prison for Juvenile offenders, all boys, to the number of 600, & it is divided into 2 completely separate Wards. The buildings are of red brick, cased with stone & are very capacious. We 1rst went into the ward, in which are the boys from the ages of 12 to 18, & visited the Dining Hall, in which all the poor boys were ranged in rows, who sang "God save the Queen". From here we went to the Chapel & School & saw the cells where the boys are kept in solitary confinement, — very lonely, without any look out. Here they are placed for the 1rst month or 2 after their arrival, & these cells are recurred to whenever the boys behave ill. They go to school & sit in their seats, without even seeing each other, & when they meet, they dare not speak. At the present moment there are 5 boys imprisoned in this part. We afterwards saw them at school, & heard them being examined, & sing. We next went to see the younger boys, & hear them also examined & sing. They receive a most admirable education, even scientific, & we saw them at work, tailoring. They make all their own clothes. The younger boys were much more pleasing to look upon, the older one, giving one the painful impression, of real criminals. We were all struck by their being the plainest set of boys we had ever seen, — really frightful & we were told that this is the case with all children of a criminal class. The unbecoming grey prison dress, & cropped hair, naturally adds to this appearance. The knowledge that the children are forever lost to their Parents is supposed to have a salutary effect upon the criminal population & to act a deterrent from leading their children into crime. The Governor, Capt: Hall, a very intelligent young man says that the poor children generally have a very strongly developed filial feeling even where their parents have been the cause of their guilt. I asked that the most deserving boy, in each ward, should be pardoned. It was a most interesting experience, & I earnestly hope that the Institution may continue to do very beneficial work".
In October 2008, it was announced that the name Parkhurst could be lost, along with the two other prison names, Albany and Camp Hill. The three would become part of one large prison run by a single governor. New names for the larger single prison have been suggested as HMP Solent, HMP Mountbatten and HMP Vectis. HMP Isle of Wight was later selected as the new name for the super prison incorporating all three island prisons. In 2013 Camp Hill prison was closed.
The New Year Honours 1957 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. They were announced in supplements to the London Gazette of 28 December 1956 to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1957.At this time honours for Australians were awarded both in the United Kingdom honours, on the advice of the premiers of Australian states, and also in a separate Australia honours list.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.1967 New Year Honours
The New Year Honours 1967 were appointments in many of the Commonwealth realms of Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by citizens of those countries. They were announced on 1 January 1967 to celebrate the year passed and mark the beginning of 1967.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.1969 Birthday Honours
The 1969 Queen's Birthday Honours were appointments to orders and decorations of the Commonwealth realms to reward and highlight citizens' good works, on the occasion of the official birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. They were announced in supplements to the London Gazette of 6 June 1969.At this time honours for Australians were awarded both in the United Kingdom honours on the advice of the premiers of Australian states, and also in a separate Australian honours list.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.1991 New Year Honours
The New Year Honours 1991 were appointments by Queen Elizabeth II to various orders and honours to reward and highlight good works by people of the United Kingdom and Commonwealth. They were published on 28 December 1990 for the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the Cook Islands, Mauritius, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Antigua and Barbuda, and Saint Christopher and Nevis.The recipients of honours are displayed here as they were styled before their new honour, and arranged by honour, with classes (Knight, Knight Grand Cross, etc.) and then divisions (Military, Civil, etc.) as appropriate.Frank McLardy
George Frank McLardy MPS (17 November 1915 – 16 December 1981) was a member of the British Union of Fascists, a British Nazi collaborator and an Unterscharführer in the Waffen-SS British Free Corps during the Second World War.Graham Young
Graham Frederick Young (7 September 1947 – 1 August 1990) was an English serial killer who used poison to kill his victims. He was sent to Broadmoor Hospital in 1962 after poisoning several members of his family. After his release in 1971 he went on to poison 7 more people, two of whom died. Young, who was known as the Teacup Poisoner later the St. Albans Poisoner, was then sent to Parkhurst Prison where he died of a heart attack in 1990.Preservation of the Rights of Prisoners
Preservation of the Rights of Prisoners (PROP) was a prisoner's rights organisation set up in the early 1970s in the United Kingdom, which organised more than one hundred prison demonstrations, strikes and protests.St Peter's Church, Portland
St. Peter's Church is a redundant 19th-century church, located in The Grove village on the Isle of Portland, Dorset. Designed by Major-General Sir Edmund Du Cane, the church was built in 1870-72 and is now a Grade II* Listed building. The gate piers and boundary walls to the north and west of the church are also Grade II Listed, along with the church's vicarage. St. Peter's Church is included on English Heritage's "Heritage at Risk" register.Terrance John Clark
Terrance John Clark (1944–1983), better known as Terry Clark, also known by the aliases Terry Sinclair, Alexander James Sinclair, Tony Bennetti, the Australian Jackal and Mr Big, was the head of the Mr Asia drug syndicate, which imported heroin into New Zealand, Australia and the United Kingdom in the 1970s. In fact, Terry Clark was the 'second' head man of the syndicate and became the lead having successfully plotted the murder of Marty Johnstone, the man who became known as "Mr Asia".Václav Jelínek
Václav Jelínek (born August 23, 1944) was a Cold War era Czechoslovak spy, who worked in London under the assumed identity of Erwin van Haarlem.Jelínek was born on 23 August 1944 in Modřany near Prague (now part of the city).The real Erwin van Haarlem was born on 22 August 1944, the son of Johanna van Haarlem, a woman of Dutch and Jewish ancestry who had been raped by Gregor Kulig, a Polish soldier and Nazi with whom she had been fraternising. Soon after Erwin's birth, by which time Kulig had already been killed in action, he was given up for adoption in Holešovice, Prague. He was later listed in the Netherlands as a missing person.After compulsory national service, Jelínek became a sergeant, working for the Ministry of the Interior. He was recruited by the Czechoslovak secret police, the Státní bezpečnost (StB), and was promoted to the rank of lieutenant. He adopted van Haarlem's identity and moved to London in June 1975, using a genuine Dutch passport, illicitly obtained in van Haarlem's name. He obtained work at the Hilton Hotel restaurant on Park Lane, and began spying on the United Kingdom and United States, for the StB and for the KGB, their equivalent in the Soviet Union. His handler was Deputy Colonel Josef Kafka. Jelínek was decorated by the KGB on 25 March 1986. Although he posed as Dutch national, he never lived in the Netherlands.
When Johanna van Haarlem contacted him, in 1977, believing him to be her real son, he was ordered to play along, in order not to blow his cover, and did so, even going so far as to visit her family in Holland. As a result of this deception, she was not reunited with her real son until February 1992.Eventually, Jelínek tired of working as a waiter, and, with funding from the StB, bought a flat at Silver Birch Close in Friern Barnet, North London and set up as an art dealer. He was eventually arrested in the flat on 22 April 1988, while in the process of receiving coded messages by radio. His trial for espionage at London's Old Bailey opened on 6 February 1989 and was the first trial of a spy in the United Kingdom since 1961. A Metropolitan Police officer said he was "probably the first person to be tried at the Old Bailey under an alias". Among those to testify against him was Stella Rimington, using the alias "Miss J". The jury returned a guilty verdict after just 45 minutes deliberation, and on 3 March 1989 he was sentenced to ten years imprisonment. He was subsequently held at HM Prison Parkhurst. While he was in Parkhurst, the 1989 Velvet Revolution saw the overthrow of communism in Czechoslovakia. On 1 January 1993, Czechoslovakia peacefully dissolved, with its constituent states becoming the independent states of the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Following an unsuccessful escape attempt and a period on hunger strike, as well as lobbying on his behalf by Czech diplomats, Jelínek was freed on 5 April 1993 and deported to the Czech Republic.In 2006, VPRO, a radio station in the Netherlands, ran a two-part programme about van Haarlem, called "Het Spoor Terug" (The trail back). His memoirs, written up by Jaroslav Kmenta were published in Czech in 2010, under the title Český špion Erwin van Haarlem.As of 2016, Jelínek was living in Prague.
Prisons in South East England