Dope Grower Died in Custody

Irene Cleary couldn't sleep. At 1am, two weeks after her husband's funeral, she lay awake and alone in her Pohara home. Next to her, on the floor, was a box that had been taken from his cell in Christchurch Men's Prison. It was the things he had left behind.

In the 11 days her husband Stephen had spent in a remand cell in Nelson and then prison in Christchurch, she had not received a letter from him. She had spoken with him on the phone.

He had been cold for several days. He had a sore leg - a pulled muscle, he thought - but he was all right. He was always "all right". But now there was nothing - seemingly no message to her or his young son.

In the box, there were textbooks. Cleary pulled one out and saw a scribble in a corner. It was in her husband's handwriting. Maybe he had written something else, she thought.