Killer who claimed prison toilet violated his human rights loses claim

HM Courts Service
HM Courts Service

A disabled Crawley killer who claimed toilet arrangements at his prison violated his human rights has had his £42,000 damages claim thrown out by a judge.

Andre Reich, 59, who walks with the aid of two sticks, did not have a toilet in his cell and said squatting over a bucket was too difficult.

It meant he had to rely on warders answering his call and letting him out to use the conveniences, sometimes resulting in long delays.

During one such wait, he said he was left in “extreme agony”, while another resulted in an embarrassing accident, he said.

Reich, who posed as an air traffic controller to ensnare his job-hunting murder victim, claimed five-figure damages from the Ministry of Justice.

But now, after considering the case, Judge Marc Dight has returned to Central London County Court to dismiss Reich’s claim.

In order to win damages under the Human Rights Convention – which protects against degrading treatment – he would have to prove high harm and suffering, the judge said.

“He has not established that he has been subjected to degrading treatment or that there has been a high intensity of harm or suffering,” he continued.

During a trial earlier this year, the judge was told Reich had broken his leg in 2010 and has had mobility problems ever since. As he was locked in his cell and could not squat over a bucket, he had to press a buzzer every time he needed to use the toilet. It often led to waits of two to three hours and, on one occasion, he was left for 14 hours without being able to go. He has since been moved to Durham’s Frankland Prison, but said that he had been “denied sanitation” - other than when warders let him out - for nearly four years at Long Lartin. Rejecting his damages claim, Judge Dight said there was no reliable evidence that Reich had difficulty using the prison’s system for going to the toilet at night.

He had been given a urine bottle to use and had not asked for a commode to be placed in his cell, Judge Dight continued.

Reich – known as Wayne Singleton at the time he was initially jailed – had also sued for disability discrimination, but the judge rejected his case on that as well. There was no evidence that Reich had made any complaints about sanitation which were not then addressed properly by the prison before starting his claim, he said. “The claims for breach of the European Convention on Human Rights and Equality Act 2010 are dismissed,” the judge concluded.

Reich, then living in Crawley, was convicted at Lewes Crown Court in 1992 of the murder of 17-year-old Lynne Rogers.

She was killed after being lured to a bogus job interview. Her body was found beneath bushes near a country lane in Rotherfield, East Sussex.

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