Pubdate: Wed, 21 Jul 2004
Source: Hull Daily Mail (UK)
Copyright: 2004 Northcliffe Newspapers Group Ltd


A Prisoner convicted as part of the Operation Hatch drugs clamp-down has 
gone on hunger strike.

Wayne Holmes has refused food and water since July 10 and has been moved to 
Hull Royal Infirmary.

He was sentenced to 18 months in prison on March 2 for three counts of 
supplying class A drugs.

It was part of Humberside Police's biggest drugs operation yet.

The 26-year-old was released into the community with an electronic tag last 
month, but taken back into prison after failing a cannabis test.

He insisted he was innocent, and began his hunger strike in protest, saying 
he is determined to continue with it until he is set free.

But the Prison Service has stood its ground and he has agreed to be put on 
a drip after an appeal by his mother, Karen.

Speaking from hospital, Mr Holmes said: "I have not smoked cannabis since I 
got out of prison. I will go on for as long as it takes. I have done 
nothing wrong."

His mother, who is concerned about his health, said: "Wayne is going 
downhill. He has lost a lot of weight and seems like he is giving up.

"I am so desperate for him to get some fluid down him. But he is determined 
and I do not think he will give up.''

Mr and Mrs Holmes visit their son twice a day. They say the protest is 
tearing the family apart.

"Wayne might be in his 20s but he is still my little boy," said Mrs Holmes.

"It is affecting the whole family. His eight-year-old sister Shannon went 
to visit him and she ran out of the hospital because she was absolutely 

"I have tried to comfort Wayne but it is so hard.

"I would just love to start seeing him eating. He only took the drip after 
I pleaded with him.

"It would destroy me if anything happened to him."

Mr Holmes, 51, said: "He is determined not to give in. He is bleeding from 
his kidneys and he is getting worse every day.

"I have tried to convince him. He is determined and when he has that in his 
head, he will not give in."

A Home Office spokesman said: "A prisoner is refusing to take food and 
water and has done since July 10. He has been taken to an outside hospital."

A spokesman for Hull Royal Infirmary confirmed that Mr Holmes was a patient 
at the hospital.

Mr Holmes has said he will continue with his hunger strike until the prison 
clears him of taking drugs during the time he was released.
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