Loyalist paedophile Mark Harbinson wins jail poppy challenge
Jail chiefs are to review their policy on the wearing of poppies by inmates after a legal challenge by a loyalist paedophile, the High Court heard.
An adjudication made against Mark Harbinson for refusing to remove the emblem is also to be cancelled.
Harbinson (46) is serving a three-and-a-half year sentence for sexually abusing a schoolgirl (13).
Harbinson, from Sheepwalk Road, Stoneyford, Antrim, launched judicial review proceedings following an incident over a poppy at HMP Magilligan.
Peter Coll, for the Prison Service, said that Harbinson was held to be wearing the poppy outside the designated period, adding: “He received an order to remove it, wouldn't comply with it and was adjudicated accordingly.”
Mr Coll said Harbinson's application could now be withdrawn, adding: “The Prison Service are prepared to cancel the adjudication, alter their records to reflect the fact that the adjudication has been cancelled, and will undertake to reconsider the poppy-wearing policy within HMP Magilligan.”
On that basis Mr Justice Treacy agreed to dismiss the case and award costs to Harbinson. The judge added: “It seems a fairly comprehensive victory.”
Belfast Telegraph Digital