Mother of teenager with autism, pleads for his release from young offenders Institute

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© Copyright Paul Birrell and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence

Shetland, Scotland– On December 16 we reported on the story of Samuel Barlow, a 16-year-old who had gone on on an airgun rampage on the island, as he wanted the police officers he threatened to shoot him and kill him. Samuel’s father told of how his son had been “pushed over the edge” by bullying on Facebook and that he had no intention of harming anyone other than himself.

The incident happened on September 23. Our report can be read here. Teenager with autism went on airgun rampage as he wanted to die.

After the incident, Sam was placed into Polmont Young Offenders Institute that is more than 400 miles from the family home. His sentence is for three years. Sam has a history of mental illness and was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome shortly after the incident on September 23.

Sam’s mother, Ruth 43, who is a community nurse, is now campaigning for her son’s release and she has the backing of mental health charities, MSP Tavish Scott and Hugh Henry, a former Labour justice minister. They both believe that the sentence Sam has received is too excessive.

Ruth told the Sunday Mail:

“Sam is a child with learning difficulties and
 mental health issues who has
 been pushed too far.

“He just wants to come home and be with his mum and dad and his brothers and sisters.

“We are a large family and very close.”

The earliest that Sam will be eligible for release is March 2016.

Source: Norman Silvester on the Mirror website: Mum of autistic boy jailed for aiming air rifle at police begs for his freedom