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Mr Michael Bannister

Volume 22: debated on Monday 19 April 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services whether he will give the total costs to public funds incurred in allowing Mr. Michael Bannister out of Broadmoor to marry at Bracknell registry office on Thursday 25 March, such costs to include the six nurses, three police cars, five detectives, uniformed police officers and a mini bus.

The escort to and from the ceremony was provided by nurses at the hospital in the normal course of their duties. The estimated total cost of the nurses' time and the transport was a little over £32. I have no information on the cost of police services.

asked the Secretary of State for Social Services why Michael Bannister, a convicted top security patient now in Broadmoor hospital, was allowed out of custody to get married and why this marriage did not take place within Broadmoor; whether he will forbid such a release in future; and if he will arrange for any marriage service to be conducted within the hospital's facilities.

Broadmoor hospital is not a licensed place for the conduct of marriage services. Patients detained in any hospital under the provisions of the Mental Health Act 1959 may be granted leave of absence from the hospital by the responsible medical officer subject to such conditions as he considers necessary. In the case of patients subject to restrictions imposed under section 65 of that Act, the consent of my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department is required. We have no plans to alter these arrangements. As one of the conditions on which Mr. Bannister's absence was approved, he was escorted to and from the ceremony by nurses from the hospital.