Scan­dal of jail’s ‘kosher’ con­victs whose diet costs YOU £5k a week

...That’s all 100 of them, led by this sup­pos­edly ‘Jewish’ in­mate, a cross-dress­ing thug who says: Call me Tif­fany

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - News - By Sally Rose

IN­MATES at a Scots jail are stag­ing a bizarre food protest that is cost­ing the tax­payer thou­sands of pounds a week.

Around 100 in­mates at HMP Glenochil, near Tulli­body in Clack­man­nan­shire, are falsely claim­ing to be Jewish in or­der to re­ceive more ex­pen­sive kosher food.

The pris­on­ers do not have to show any mean­ing­ful com­mit­ment to Ju­daism to qual­ify for the spe­cial diet, which they be­lieve is tastier than stan­dard prison food. They sim­ply have to say they are Jewish.

De­mand is now so high the prison gov­er­nor is said to be con­sid­er­ing hir­ing a spe­cial­ist kosher chef.

But prison warders last night said the move was sim­ply a ‘two-fin­ger salute’ by the pris­on­ers.

The leader of the ap­par­ent mass con­ver­sion is An­drew Burns, a 25year-old cross-dress­ing se­rial thug from Kin­glassie in Fife who de­mands guards call him Tif­fany.

Ac­cord­ing to an in­sider, mur­derer Gavin Boyd is also among those de­mand­ing kosher meals. The sex at­tacker was on an elec­tronic tag when he suf­fo­cated 20-year-old Vikki McGrand in Ayr in 2008.

He told po­lice she had re­fused to hand over im­ages that showed him wear­ing a red PVC skirt, sus­penders, boots and a sil­ver tiara.

Oth­ers in­clude reg­is­tered sex of­fender Thomas Smith, who tor­tured, raped and bat­tered Diane Fal­lon, 43, and her ten-year-old daugh­ter Holly, who had lived next door to him in Cron­berry, Ayr­shire.

Pae­dophile Mau­rice Cross­ley, who abused chil­dren af­ter be­friend­ing sin­gle mothers, is de­mand­ing to be fed a Rasta­far­ian diet.

Stan­dard meals are cooked in the prison kitchens, but kosher food has to be pre­pared ac­cord­ing to strict rules off-site then de­liv­ered to the jail – mean­ing the cost of feed­ing those claim­ing to be Jewish has added an ex­tra £5,300 to the weekly ca­ter­ing bill.

An in­sider said: ‘There’s no doubt the kosher diet is an up­grade on the usual prison food. There’s less stodge and more fresh fruit and veg­eta­bles, plus you get full-fat milk in­stead of semi-skimmed.

‘But we’re not talk­ing gourmets – or even gen­uine Jews – here. These are hard­ened crim­i­nals and low-life sex of­fend­ers.

‘This is a co-or­di­nated cam­paign to waste money sim­ply be­cause it’s their way of kick­ing back at the author­i­ties while they’ve got noth­ing bet­ter to do.

‘Burns knows the rules and reg­u­la­tions in­side out and he spends his time search­ing out loop­holes. Oth­ers see him get­ting his own way and they fol­low on be­hind.

‘So now there’s con­sid­er­a­tion be­ing given to hir­ing a kosher chef to keep a lid on the costs and staff are re­search­ing what Rasta­far­i­ans eat. It’s lu­di­crous.’

The Scot­tish Prison Ser­vice (SPS) is obliged to pro­vide pris­on­ers with food in line with their stated re­li­gious be­liefs – but is not al­lowed to ques­tion the au­then­tic­ity of those be­liefs.

Kosher means ‘suit­able’ or ‘pure’ in He­brew. Rules for meat in­clude pain­less killing by a rit­ual slaugh­terer and it must be served sep­a­rately to dairy prod­ucts.

Al­though kosher food does not have to be blessed by a rabbi, cer­ti­fi­ca­tion of­ten in­volves hav­ing a spe­cial­ist fac­tory or kitchen in­spected by a re­li­gious author­ity.

The kosher meals in Glenochil cost £10 per per­son a day com­pared with £2.47 for tra­di­tional food.

Andy Hogg, as­sis­tant gen­eral sec­re­tary of the Prison Of­fi­cers As­so­ci­a­tion in Scot­land, said: ‘The con­duct of the pris­on­ers con­cerned is no more than a two-fin­ger salute to author­ity be­cause they be­lieve they can get away with it.

‘Scot­tish so­ci­ety will be out­raged at the per­verse use of the Hu­man Rights Act as a means of sup­port­ing anti-es­tab­lish­ment sen­ti­ment when it is de­signed to af­ford proper pro­tec­tion of gen­uine rights and free­doms.’

Scot­tish Tory jus­tice spokesman Dou­glas Ross said: ‘There’s noth­ing wrong with of­fer­ing pris­on­ers kosher food if that is in keep­ing with their faith. But it’s clear this is an or­ches­trated cam­paign which abuses that right.

‘It’s wast­ing tax­pay­ers’ money and in­sults those who gen­uinely do re­quire kosher meals. If ev­i­dence of this be­ing a ruse is ob­tained, those guilty should be dealt with se­verely.’

An SPS spokesman said: ‘Our poli­cies are very clear and have been for many years. We re­spect the right of in­di­vid­u­als to have their re­li­gious di­etary needs catered for.’

HMP Glenochil holds an aver­age pop­u­la­tion of 660 crim­i­nals.

‘A two-fin­ger salute to author­ity’

PLAY­ING THE SYS­TEM: An­drew Burns, seen stand­ing on a chair in a cell THE PRISON LAUGH­ING STOCK: HMP Glenochil, near Tulli­body, Clack­man­nan­shire, where the fi­asco has un­folded RIT­UAL: A Jewish chef re­spect­fully pre­pares a meal THE RING­LEADER

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