Muslim inmates who were allegedly offered ham sandwiches during the holy season of Ramadan are suing for compensation.
The incident is purported to have taken place at maximum security Leeds prison, where more than 200 Muslims are being held.
The mix-up was said to have happened after prisoners were given their special nightly menus and they saw that one of the options was a ‘boiled ham sandwich’. Any variant of pork is strictly forbidden according to Muslim teachings.
After complaining to wardens, the prisoners were told the menus were a mistake. Many ordered cheese sandwiches instead, but some claimed they were still delivered ham sandwiches and ended up eating them because they were so hungry.
It was reported that lawyers estimated each inmate could receive as much £10,000 compensation if the claim is proved. Tax payers will end up footing the bill.
However the the Ministry of Justice said that the menu had been incorrectly printed, but denied that any of the prisoners were forced to eat ham.
“An inappropriate menu card was printed during Ramadan. This mistake was rectified immediately,” said a spokesman.
“Appropriate menu options for the Iftar evening meal were available throughout Ramadan.
“Prison services guidelines state that prisoners must have a diet which meets the requirements of their religion.”