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Melanie Shaw On Trial

Leeds Crown Court, Tuesday 7 August 2018

Mike Gascoigne, 8 August 2018, Updated 9 August 2018

Melanie is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse at Beechwood Children’s Home in Nottingham and is in prison because she knows too much about paedophiles. On 11 January 2017 she was sent to prison by a secret court on various trumped-up charges. She was not present in court, she was there on video link but has complained that whenever she appears in court on video it mysteriously breaks down as soon as she tries to speak. Sorry we can’t give you any more detail, that’s the nature of secret court hearings that unfortunately occur in Britain.

Her release date was 2 June 2018 but she continues to be held on remand at HMP Styal, near Manchester, facing additional charges for offences apparently committed while in prison. She appeared at Leeds Crown Court on 7 August 2018 but arrived late because of inefficiencies at the prison and by the time she arrived a charge of sexual assault had been dropped, leaving four minor charges of arson (setting fire to mattresses).

When Melanie arrived, she was in reasonable physical health although she had a broken arm, a matter that needs to be explained. Mentally she was a total wreck and looked as if she had been drugged. When she was asked to plead guilty or not guilty to the arson charges she couldn’t even answer the question. She rambled on about other issues but couldn’t seem to get the words together.

The trial was getting nowhere and was postponed for another six weeks pending psychiatric reports, a complete waste of time because it’s obvious what’s wrong with her, she has been driven round the twist by prolonged solitary confinement. All she needs is to be discharged from prison, either on bail or with the charges dropped altogether.

Melanie Shaw

Write to Melanie

The most important thing you can do right now is write to Melanie. She will be encouraged to receive letters from supporters, even if she doesn’t know you. Also the prison staff are likely to treat her better when they see lots of letters arriving. It’s unlikely that she will write back because she is allowed to write very few letters. It’s more likely that she will write to a few key people who will pass on her news to others.

Her address is:

Melanie Shaw
HMP Styal

Write your name and address on the envelope, and also on the letter itself in case they get separated. Bear in mind that prison staff are likely to open it (except for letters from solicitors). Do not enclose any stamps, blank paper, return envelopes, money or other items.

Prisoners do not have email addresses but you can register an account with and send messages to the prison and they will print them and give them to her. The cost is 40p/message and you will have to buy some credit.

Other actions: There are lots of things you can do but circumstances change from day to day and you can keep up with the latest news and discussion on the Facebook group Justice for Melanie Shaw.

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