By John Elworthy
Thursday, February 28, 2013
HAD he not killed himself in Norwich Prison then Thomas Curtis, 29, would have stood trial with his brother Rocky, 25, and Robert Holmes, 24, for the murder of Sonny Grey.
The older of the Curtis brothers had been clearly identified with his younger brother and Holmes in and around the home of Mr Grey before he was brutally murdered.
But just before Christmas 2011, Thomas Curtis, of Newbridge Lane, Wisbech, was recalled to prison after having been released previously on licence following an armed robbery sentence.
On January 2 last year he hanged himself after doctors took away his anti-depressants after giving him a clean bill of health, his family claimed.
He had been freed in the summer after serving five years of a 12-year sentence for a string of ATM raids and robberies across East Anglia.
Edna Curtis, his widow, said: “Tom saw many doctors before going back to prison and there was concern on both counts.
“Tom was on medication from doctors to help him cope – he was even going to hospital. But when Tom arrived back in prison, within two days they declared him fit and well and took away his ¬medication.
“We are his family and we know him better than anyone but we didn’t get a say in the situation.”
Curtis was arrested on December 22 when armed police turned up at the caravan site in New Bridge Lane where he lived.
However, the following day he was transferred to Norwich Prison because he was not well.
Mrs Curtis said relatives were not allowed to visit him in prison. The only contact they had was a phone call on Christmas Day.
She said: “I will never let this go until the day I die. It won’t bring him back and my heart has gone with him.”
Betty Curtis, Mr Curtis’ mum, said: “I want to help other families.
“If this can stop one more person dying at least something positive has come out of this.”
A prison service spokesman said at the time: “Every death in prison is a tragedy and affects families, staff and other prisoners deeply, and we are committed to reducing the number of such incidents.”
A police spokesman said at the time that “decisions over prison recalls - it’s made by the Home Office and probation.
“A recall has to be signed by the Home Secretary, we just action the arrest and handover to the prison service”.