Parents of hanged prisoner pay tribute to their son
THE parents of a 23-year-old prisoner found hanged in his cell say their son did not intend to kill himself “in a million years”.
Debbie and Martin Collister spoke of their grief at losing their “loving” and “precious” son Tom, who left behind three sisters and a brother when he died on February 7.
He was in jail at the time serving a 30-month sentence for conspiracy to commit criminal damage, which had been slashed by 10 months four days earlier following an appeal hearing.
Tom Collister, who lived with his mother in Stembridge Road, Penge, had belonged to a gang of graffiti artists which carried out a two-year campaign of vandalism on trains and stations around south London.
Tom was sent to Wandsworth prison in October last year and transferred to HMP Camp Hill in Newport on the Isle of Wight in January.
His parents say he hated Camp Hill and he thought he would be moved back to Wandsworth after his appeal on February 3.
But on hearing he was going back to the Isle of Wight, he was distraught.
Mr Collister says Camp Hill was “a beast of a place” run like “a military institution”, and his son was staging a suicide attempt as “a cry for help” so he could be sent back to Wandsworth.
Hundreds of Tom’s friends are today launching balloons in his memory.
His funeral was attended by more than 400 people and hundreds have paid tribute to him on a social networking site.
And his friends have rallied round to arrange today’s event at Beckenham Crematorium, where Tom is buried.
Train conductors to hold 48-hour strike
Train conductors are to hold a third strike in a continuing row over Sunday working hours.
About 100 London Midland workers, including many based at Watford Junction, will refuse to work on Sunday, March 29 and Monday, March 30.
Chief constable 'daubed graffiti'
Nottinghamshire Police Chief Constable Julia Hodson has admitted breaking the law in her "rowdy" youth.
Speaking on BBC Radio Nottingham about youth crime in the city, Ms Hodson said as a teenager she had daubed graffiti on bus shelters.
She said: "Looking back I probably did [break the law]- I was lucky not to have gone a different way.