As has been widely reported in the papers over the last few days, Prospect contributor Charles (or CAR) Hills–who wrote a column about life in Clapham for us a few years ago, and has more recently started contributing pieces from Belmarsh prison–has been sentenced to six years in prison for conspiracy to murder his mother’s lover. Friends of Charles have been shocked by the severity of the sentence–he pleaded guilty, and it was thought that his mental health problems would provide grounds for leniency–and by the (inevitably) lurid tone of much of the reporting. It is a sad moment. Charles is a gifted writer, whose life has been blighted by depression and other psychological problems. The one bright spot–for readers of Prospect at any rate–is that it is likely to lead to more of his fascinating dispatches from “the other side” appearing in the magazine. Look out for his account of life on Belmarsh’s hospital wing in the next issue.