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The prisoner

Peter Wayne reports on a suicide at Stocken prison

By Peter Wayne   May 1996

We had come in collective grief to honour the memory of fellow inmate Ray Haarhoff. Outside, the sky was battleship grey. Every seat in the chapel was taken, every head bowed. After a while, the organ sounded. Bach’s Herzallerliebster Jesu, was hast du verbrochen broke our silence.

Ray’s was a popular face around the prison. He was 34, but having already served 16 years of a life sentence, he might have expected an earlyish parole. Had all other things remained equal, this would have happened. As it was, over the last five years Ray had drifted into drugs. He now…

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