Lag to sue prison chiefs over claims he was bitten by RAT in cell

Bites can cause Weil’s disease – a severe form of a bacterial infection – which can be fatal in extreme cases

A prisoner is set to sue for compensation after claiming he was bitten by a RAT in his cell .

The lag, calling himself Chire Henderson, says he was bitten by a rat at the 1,100-capacity HMP Bullingdon in Oxfordshire.

A prisoner is set to sue for compensation after claiming he was bitten by a RAT in his cell .

He claims that he was told by health chiefs at the category B/C jail that he was the ‘first prisoner’ to show up with a rat bite.

Rats bites can cause Weil’s disease – a severe form of a bacterial infection known as leptospirosis – which can be fatal in extreme cases.

Chiefs at the National Prison Officer Association have even warned the Ministry of Justice that rat infestations at UK jails need to be stamped out – to protect both prison staff and lags.

The prisoner, writing in lags’ mag Inside Time in the latest edition, said there was a rat infestation of ‘epidemic proportions’ at the jail.

He wrote last week: “I am currently a prisoner at Bullingdon and since 2015 there has been growing concern about the rat infestation of epidemic proportions here.

“The main cause, I should imagine, is the rubbish being thrown out of cell windows as there are no cages around the windows except on the ground level.

“Now my worst fear has come true, I have been bitten by a rat!

“The healthcare service say I am the first prisoner to present with a rat bite and as neither the doctor nor anybody else in healthcare has experience of treating rat bites”

The lag, who has complained to prison chiefs in a compensation bid, added: “I see rats from my cell window every night but nobody seems interested in doing anything about the problem.”

In a 2012 report into the jail from HM Chief Inspector of Prisons stated that there was a ‘chronic infestation of rats’ caused by ‘food being thrown out of windows’ by prisoners.

A 2015 report from the Independent Monitoring Board (IMB), which inspects all UK jails, said that the rodent problem was being tackled at HMP Bullingdon, but that it was an on-going problem.

The IMB report stated: “Progress has been made on overcoming vermin infestation but much remains to be done to eliminate rats from the grounds.”

Speaking earlier this year about rat infestations in UK prisons , Glyn Travis, of the National Prison Officer Association, said rats carried the potentially deadly Weil’s disease.

He said: “Any infestation of rats is a major concern.

“Rats are one of the most prolific carriers of Weil’s disease – which is a killer.

“This (using pest control firms) is costing taxpayers significant amounts of money and endangering the health of staff and prisoners.”

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “We robustly defend claims made against the Prison Service where evidence allows, and have managed to successfully defend two thirds of prisoner claims over the last three years.”

Brown Rat