The man who murdered Irish nurse Karen Buckley can watch satellite television and play games consoles in his cell as he serves his life sentence.
A top Scottish politician has called for a crackdown on prison “perks” after it emerged Alexander Pacteau, 21, will be able to avail of a number of sports and leisure activities in his maximum security prison.
Scottish media reported HM Prison Shotts has spent about €215,000 on 75 pieces of gym equipment for inmates.
The prison lies 37km east of Glasgow, where Pacteau murdered Ms Buckley in the early hours of April 12. He strangled the occupational therapy student in his car and beat her in the head with a spanner within minutes of offering her a lift home from the Sanctuary nightclub. He then attempted to destroy Ms Buckey’s body, and hid it in a barrel on a farm.
According to Inside Time — a dedicated UK newspaper for prisoners — the Kerr House facility within Shotts Prison “offers low supervision prisoners an opportunity of participating in a less structured and regimented regime earlier than under the current arrangements” and provides in-cell power, televisions and Playstations.
Inside Time also lists sports and leisure activities available in the prison, including badminton, basketball, circuit training, football, and weight training.
Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont has called on the government to review the facilities.
“The impression this creates is that life in jail for a callous killer won’t be all that bad,” he said. “That’s hurtful to the victims and their families, and gives our justice system a bad name.
“South of the border, the UK government is cracking down on perks given to dangerous offenders. The SNP could do a lot worse than follow suit,” he said.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Prison Service said:
“The SPS has an obligation to provide appropriate equipment in prisons to allow those in our care to build and maintain a healthy lifestyle.” She added that in-cell TV has been available in all prisons since 1999 and subscription TV since 2004, with offenders contributing towards the cost.
“Offenders may purchase electrical items from a prison approved supplier for use within their cell. This may include games consoles, however they are not internet enabled,” she said.
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