In the Media

How was she able to give an interview?

PUBLISHED December 5, 2006

Furious MP Jim Cousins is demanding a Home Office review of the security and supervision of killer mum Danielle Wails after she revealed to a magazine how she burnt her baby to death.

The Newcastle Central Labour backbencher is furious the 21-year-old was allowed to go drinking on her way to a probation hostel in West Yorkshire and then conduct an interview for a publication giving details never revealed to the police or the courts.

Now he is calling on prisons and probation minister Gerry Sutcliffe to move Wails to a more secure hostel, impose tighter probation conditions and ensure she cannot continue to act in this "grossly irresponsible" way.

Wails was convicted of the killing of little Alexander Gallon in a fire at their home in Link Road, Cowgate, Newcastle on August 28 last year, initially claiming two men had broken into her home, tied her hands behind her back and started the killer blaze.

Wails, who was suffering from severe postnatal depression, pleaded guilty to the infanticide of Alexander, and was sentenced to a three-year community order with supervision and sent to a bail hostel in Leeds.

Within 48 hours she went on a drinking binge, provoking Mr Cousins to write to Mr Sutcliffe.

He replied that Wails had been told to keep a "low profile" but was not escorted beyond Durham on her train journey to the hostel.

He revealed she had been re-arrested and remanded in prison for two weeks on the instructions of the judge, who wanted her supervision and accommodation plans reviewed.

Mr Sutcliffe told Mr Cousins he had asked the chief probation officer in West Yorkshire "to ensure that Ms Wails's supervising officer makes very clear to her the requirements placed on her through the community order."

But, as revealed in the Chronicle this week, she then conducted an interview with Love It magazine giving details of how Alexander died.

Mr Cousins told the Chronicle today: "I shall be writing to Mr Sutcliffe again asking him to review the location, security, supervision and conditions of Danielle Wails.

"This is important for her own security and has wider implications for people being held like her.

"I find it absolutely astonishing she was allowed to go on a drinking binge after being sent to a bail hostel.

"I find it even more astonishing and appalling that she was allowed to conduct an interview for a magazine revealing details she never gave to the court or police.

"There are obviously serious questions about who initiated the interview, whether she was paid for it and who allowed it.

"It will have caused great distress to many people notably the father, 22-year-old Robert Gallon, whom I shall be seeking to meet if he wishes to see me.

"When she was taken to court after going drinking the judge said he was deeply concerned about how she was being held and supervised. He'll be even more concerned now. I shall be telling Mr Sutcliffe something needs to be done. She was asked to keep a low profile but ignored the advice. Her behaviour in allowing this article was deeply irresponsible and who was ensuring she kept a low profile?

A Home Office spokesman said: "The Home Office has received the letter from the MP and the minister will respond in due course."