A prisoner serving a life sentence for the murder of a Leeds teenager and the rape and kidnap of an estate agent two decades ago today told a High Court judge that he was “now ... only a low risk”.
Michael Sams explained to Mr Justice Ouseley, during a High Court hearing in London, how the level of risk he posed to women prison staff had fallen over the past 15 years.
Sams, jailed at Nottingham Crown Court in 1993 for the murder of Julie Dart, 18, of Leeds and the rape and kidnap of Birmingham estate agent Stephanie Slater, then 25 - assessed his risk level as he tried to force authorities to re-categorise his prisoner status.
“In 1995, 1997 I was an extreme danger to female staff,” Sams, who is now past retirement age, told the judge. “In 2005, I was only medium risk. Now I am only low risk.”
He took legal action against Justice Secretary Ken Clarke as part of a fight to be downgraded from category A.
Sams, who has one leg and is a former toolmaker from Sutton-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, complained that prison bosses had refused to remove “inaccurate” information from his files.
But Mr Justice Ouseley dismissed his claim for “judicial review” saying prison officials had made “time-consuming and painstaking efforts” to ensure Sams’ file contained “all that it ought to”.
The judge was told that prison authorities had considered Sams’ case in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and concluded each time that he should be classed category A.
Sams represented himself and appeared by video link from Whitemoor prison near March, Cambridgeshire, where he is held.
He had presented a hand-written statement of claim to the court.
Sams wrote his “detailed statement of facts & grounds” in capital letters and referred to himself in the third person.
“This is a challenge by a life sentence prisoner to a decision by the Ministry of Justice to refuse to remove inaccurate reports from his files,” wrote Sams.
“The claimant is disabled (above right knee amputation) and he is 69 years of age. He has been a ‘cat A’ prisoner throughout his sentence.”