Mystery mounts over Archer Suffolk move

HOME Office and prison officials today refused to deny speculation that disgraced peer Lord Jeffrey Archer was being moved to a Suffolk prison.Archer's next confinement, to prepare for his release back into the community, is believed to be Hollesley Bay's open prison, near Woodbridge.

By Tracey Sparling

HOME Office and prison officials today refused to deny speculation that disgraced peer Lord Jeffrey Archer was being moved to a Suffolk prison.

Archer's next confinement, to prepare for his release back into the community, is believed to be Hollesley Bay's open prison, near Woodbridge.

The millionaire author has been imprisoned at Lincoln Prison, where he was sent after attending a party at the home of former Tory Cabinet Minister Gillian Shepherd.


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Last Tuesday , the Star told how a senior Prison Service source said that Archer would be moved within a couple of weeks if he did not get into trouble again, although an official spokeswoman from the service would neither confirm or deny it.

Today a spokeswoman for the Home Office and a spokesman for Hollesley Bay Prison refused to comment and both said: "We cannot discuss the movements of prisoners."

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A spokesman at Lincoln Prison was today unavailable for comment.

Archer was jailed last year for perjury and perverting the course of justice during a 1987 libel trial. He will be eligible for parole next July, halfway through his four-year sentence.

Hollesley's open prison sends inmates out into the community on day release schemes to help them adjust to life outside jail again.

Archer would be able to choose from a range of options – shops, hotels and Ipswich Hospital are used for day release - or he could consider courses in industrial cleaning and building.

Earlier this year workmen started installing electricity to all cells, starting with juvenile inmates in the Warren Hill prison, and small colour television sets were bought for the prisoners.

When his time in jail is finished Archer could use Hollesley's pioneering scheme to help him find a job.

Meanwhile, if he is allowed out on day realease, as he did at Lincoln's Theatre Royal, he may head to Ipswich's Wolsey Theatre, currently staging A Mad World My Masters. The plot is filled with scandal and lies – just the type of scam that Archer is familiar with.

Archer was first sent to the tough-regime, top security Belmarsh Prison in south east London, in July.

Conditions were described by a former inmate as a 'horrible nightmare' and in his controversial recently-published prison diary Archer described Belmarsh as 'hell.'

He was held there until he was transferred to a low security jail to serve the rest of the four-year sentence.

He was moved to medium-security Wayland Prison near Swaffham in Norfolk, in August – which he described as 'purgatory.'

In October, he was downgraded to a "low risk" category D prisoner and moved to an open prison.

The reclassification came after a police inquiry into the whereabouts of £57m he claimed to have raised for the British Red Cross appeal for Kurdish refugees after the Gulf war.

The charity's accounts showed that all donations had been accounted for and that Archer's Simple Truth concert had raised only £1m.

He described open prison North Sea Camp near Boston in Lincolnshire as 'heaven.'

But in September it emerged he went to former cabinet minister Gillian's Shepherd's party while on home leave.

He was confined to the open prison until it was proved he attended the party. He had been allowed limited freedom since August, when he began a day release job at the Theatre Royal in Lincoln and strictly regulated home visits.

Those privileges were withdrawn indefinitely.

A warder at North Sea Camp resigned after it emerged he had lunch with Archer during the Tory peer's day release from jail.

Last month he was moved high security Lincoln Prison when a storm broke after he published his book naming other prisoners, which was against prison rules.

He was warned he could face an extended stay in prison after publishing the diary, which was based on the three weeks he spent in Belmarsh jail.

It remains to be seen what his judgement will be of Hollesley Bay

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