Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 10 October 2015

Loyalist paedophile Mark Harbinson wins jail poppy challenge


Published 21/02/2013

Mark Harbinson pictured at Drumcree July 2000
Mark Harbinson pictured at Drumcree July 2000

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Mr Coll said Harbinson's application could now be withdrawn, adding: “The Prison Service are prepared to cancel the adjudication, alter their records to reflect the fact that the adjudication has been cancelled, and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.”

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