Archer demands apology

DISGRACED peer Jeffrey Archer has demanded an apology after being sent to Hollesley Bay prison, it was revealed today.He has lodged an official complaint over the decision to move him from North Sea Camp open prison in Lincolnshire to Lincoln Jail and then to Suffolk.

By Paul Geater

DISGRACED peer Jeffrey Archer has demanded an apology after being sent to Hollesley Bay prison, it was revealed today.

He has lodged an official complaint over the decision to move him from North Sea Camp open prison in Lincolnshire to Lincoln Jail and then to Suffolk.

Archer was moved after it was revealed that he had joined a dinner party at the home of former cabinet minister Gillian Shephard while out on a home visit last summer.

The millionaire author, jailed for four years for perjury in 2001, has submitted a 44-page official complaint alleging that his punishment was disproportionate and that he had been singled out for harsh treatment.

He also accused the head of the prison service, Martin Narey, of launching an "unwarranted personal attack" on him during media interviews.

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Archer says he knew he had to stay within a 55-mile radius of North Sea Camp when he was allowed out on home leave.

He had checked Mrs Shephard's home was within this area, and the prison rules did not say he had to remain in his own home during a visit.

"I genuinely thought I had acted entirely within the letter and spirit of the community visit regulations at all times," Archer said.

"Had I known that I should have asked permission to go out to lunch with my wife with friends, who lived closer to North Sea Camp than my own home, then I would have asked permission.

"I did not know I was contravening any rule, and certainly I had no deliberate intention to flout any."

He says his punishment – three weeks in Lincoln followed by transfer to Hollesley Bay which has fewer privileges than North Sea Camp – was disproportionate.

And the transfer could also affect his chances of getting parole, for which he will be eligible from July this year.

Meanwhile Archer is weighing up the options of working in the community in the Woodbridge area for £7 a week or staying inside a prison library.

The community service placements available to him could include time with the Hollesley-based Riding for the Disabled, the Thomas Wolsey special school in Ipswich or Oxfam shops in Woodbridge and Ipswich.

But Archer, 62, currently serving a four-year sentence at Hollesley Bay prison for perjury and perverting the course of justice, may be denied the chance of leaving the prison to help the community because of the intense media interest in him.

It also emerged yesterday that the multi-millionaire novelist has not made an application to work as a Community Service Volunteer (CSV) and he could decide to spend the rest of his sentence as the open prison's library orderly.

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