Mr.Nicolas Cocaign is suffering from a severe mental illness (schizophrenia). Following his release from jail in summer 2005, the prefect of Hauts-de-Seine ordered his detention in  a mental health center. Nevertheless, he was again detained in jail (cf. Case Patoux v. France).

On January 3rd 2007, he was suspected to have killed one of his cellmate in the overcrowded jail Bonne Nouvelle in Rouen and eat a part of his lung. On January 17th 2007, he was condemned to 45 days disciplinary cell for “violence” to the deceased cellmate, under article D249-1 of the code of penal procedure. On January 22th 2007, the prefect of Yvelines ordered his detention in the mental health center “Centre hospitalier Paul Guiraud“. After 2 weeks of detention in the mental health center, the applicant was transferred to jail of Bois d’Arcy to complete his 40 days of disciplinary detention. He filed an appeal of this disciplinary sentence at the administrative tribunal of Melun.

On October 26th 2007, a court-ordered report by 2 psychiatrists established that the applicant was legally insane  at the time of the murder, under article L122-1 of the penal code. Nevertheless, on June 24th 2010, the applicant was condemned to 30 years in prison by the criminal court of Rouen. No appeal were filed.

On July 17th 2007, the applicant filed an application with the E.C.H.R arguing that the disciplinary hearing commission ruled in violation of article 6-1, that the 45 days in a disciplinary cell, the lack of appropriate health care and the solitary confinement since then were violations of article 3, and the lack of remedies following a violation of article 3 in jail was a violation of article 13. On September 28th 2009, the application was communicated to the agent of the French Republic with questions to be answered before 16 weeks. The applicant is represented by Me Fabien Picchiottino (Rouen) who didn’t return our email.

Update :

On April 6th 2011, the ministry of Justice announced that the jail Bonne Nouvelle will be closed down.

On November 3rd 2011, the Court found no violation of article 3 of the Convention on the ground that the Court was not informed of the condition of detention in disciplinary cells (81). Surprisingly, the Court didn’t answer the allegation that solitary confinement for more than 4 years was a violation of article 3 of the Convention.