There Is Currently a Convicted Murderer Living on the Roof of a Manchester Prison

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There Is Currently a Convicted Murderer Living on the Roof of a Manchester Prison

A convicted murderer climbed up an 18-foot-fence and onto the roof of Strangeways prison in Manchester, England, Sunday afternoon, and remains on the roof more than 24 hours later, apparently protesting conditions in the jail.

Roads have been closed and prisoners are on lockdown in their cells, but Stuart Horner remains on the roof, from which he’s started to tear off loose pieces. During his protest, he’s also stripped down to his boxers, danced around and yelled things like “100 percent reoffender!” to his fellow inmates below.

“Go on, Stuart!” they yelled back, according to the Guardian.

Horner, 35, is in his third year of a 27-year sentence. He was convicted in 2012 of murdering his uncle with a shotgun after a family dispute.

He’s vowed to remain on the roof for 40 days and 40 nights, reports the Manchester Evening News, which has been providing minute-by-minute coverage of everything Horner’s doing, even when he’s just reading a newspaper (or, a minute later, “kicking back” and reading a newspaper). The roof is surrounded by a prison yard, so although Horner was able to climb a fence to access it (apparently cutting himself in the process), he doesn’t have any way of getting off the Strangeways grounds.

Horner’s complaints about conditions inside Strangeways are legitimate, though, according to one former inmate who told the M.E.N., “Prisons are rife with drugs and illegal mobile phones. The treatment of prisoners is inhumane and disgraceful with many of the wings locked down for 23 hours with little or no exercise. The prison officers used to say they simply didn’t have the numbers to control us. I strongly believe there will be riots.”

Horner’s mother has asked him to end his protest, saying she thinks his actions will “achieve nothing,” and negotiators sent his sister up to the roof in a cherry-picker Monday evening in an attempt to talk him down.

Strangeways was partially destroyed in a 1990 prison riot that lasted 25 days and killed 2. It began with a rooftop protest, and ended with police snatch squads storming the prison.

Presumably, Manchester police and prison officials are hoping not to do that again.

[Video: M.E.N. via Guardian]

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