Jacki Holborough

Jacki Holborough was born in Birmingham and trained at the Birmingham Theatre School. She began her acting career with a two year stint as Shirley Perkins in Crossroads and spent a number of years in the theatre before, in 1975, she became involved in a conspiracy against a South African based gold and diamond mining corporation.

She was sentenced at the Old Bailey in 1977 to three years imprisonment and sent to the H-Wing at Durham Prison, the maximum security unit converted from a punishment block to hold the Great Train Robbers. Security measures in the H-Wing included electronic surveillance, dog runs, armed yards, and (according to one report), the siting of a machine gun nest on the outer walls. The Mountbatten report of 1966 condemned conditions as ‘such no country with a record for civilised behaviour ought to tolerate any longer’, and following a series of mutinies and demonstrations by the male prisoners, the wing was closed in 1972 and reopened in 1974 to hold the first of the IRA women prisoners. The Home Office sent a few women wiht shorter sentences to the wing to diversify the pressures and divert public attention from the fact that it was basically a ‘special control unit’ for female terrorists.

Killers the fantasies and frustrations of a newly arrived women prisoner to the H-Wing. Written from personal experience, by a woman who founded her own theatre company as a support-group for other ex-prisoners, it has an overwhelming impact.

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