29 May 2007
Ex-prison warder suing for compensation after HIV panic
A former prison officer is seeking damages of £300,000 after breaking up a fight caused him to swallow the blood of an intravenous drug user.
Edward Pratt, 44, was employed at Barlinnie Jail in Glasgow when the incident occurred in 1997.
When a fight broke out, Mr Pratt attempted to break up the fracas, whereupon one of the prisoners shook his head.
As a result, blood from the prisoner's wounded face landed in Mr Pratt's mouth and on his clothes.
Subsequent tests for Aids and hepatitis proved negative, however, Mr Pratt alleges that the Scottish Prison Service's (SPS) lackadaisical attitude towards the tests caused delays to the arrival of the results.
According to Mr Pratt, the stress involved in waiting for the results to arrive to have caused him to fall into depression, which led to his being signed off from work.
Mr Pratt's claims are being contested by the SPS on the grounds that their former employee had been given suitable advice following the accident.
The body also claims the amount of damages is excessive.