35-year-old Kevin Hutchinson is serving a six-year sentence in jail for his role in a robbery of an Essex taxi driver.
Every child wishes to grow up in a household that has loving parents. For one toddler, it's a heartbreaking waiting game as he hugs his father's t-shirt every night awaiting him to be released from prison. 35-year-old Kevin Hutchinson is serving a six-year sentence in jail for his role in a robbery of an Essex taxi driver. By being a part of the crime that occurred last September Hutchison left her son to grow up without a father. Even his girlfriend 35-year-old Emma Fox revealed that Hutchinson has "missed out on so much" already, given the fact that their son turns two this July.
Soon after the crime, Hutchinson was imprisoned while he waited for his sentencing. Now, he faces another three years at HMP Highpoint, in Suffolk, before being eligible for parole. "It isn't a long time in the grand scheme of things, but when you sit here and think three years your partner and my son without his dad is a long time," explained Emma, a Billericay resident. "When Kevin left on that day, [Riley] wasn't even walking and now he's walking, eating solid food, he's laughing and starting to say his first words – he's missed all of that."
The mother went on to reveal just how similar the father and son duo is, especially because of their shared passion for motors. Emma said, her son "won't play with anything else" except toy cars. "It reminds me of his dad," she added. What's more, the lockdown restrictions have prevented Emma and Riley to visit Hutchinson in prison. Due to the lack of contact, the mother is worried that the close bond between the father and son may have been broken. "Taking him to see his dad for the first time is going to be really hard. I don't know if he's going to want to go to him or acknowledge him," shared Emma.
That being said, Hutchinson calls Emma multiple times a day from the phone in his cell. Apparently, Riley has no trouble recognizing his voice. "When the phone rings, he does go 'Dad-Dad'. And we've got pictures around the house, next to the bed, and we've got the T-shirt of his and he cuddles that every night," Emma told Mirror. "So he knows who dad is but I think obviously the longer it's left it's going to take a toll."
Recalling how their relationship began, Emma said it started three years ago. While things seemed fine for a while, Hutchinson reportedly slipped into a bad place, began struggling with mental health, and subsequently got arrested. The whole thing began after Hutchinson lost his father when he was 21. Struggling to cope with the loss, he began drinking and eventually ended up in the dark lane of petty crimes. While he's been an alcoholic most of his life, jail time has forced him to quit the habit and be sober. All Emma wants now is to make sure that Riley understands that his dad was not completely a bad person but someone who just needed help. "Having that conversation with a young child is not going to be the easiest," admitted the concerned mother.
"Not everyone in prison is bad, some of them are just lost and when they fall into addiction they do things that they wouldn't normally do. And if people like Kevin got the help before it got to this point he wouldn't be where he is today, I know that for a fact. He's been failed," she added. "We went to alcohol services and they dismiss him," she claimed. "Even tried to get himself sectioned but they wouldn't help him." One time an NHS mental health nurse told them, that Hutchinson couldn't be helped unless he became sober. "How can an alcoholic be sober if there are underlying mental health issues? He used alcohol to blot out trauma, heartache, and stress," continued Emma. "He's a victim – I know he's done wrong but he's a victim in that he hasn't had the help that he's begged for and cried out for. He has the biggest heart."
"There needs to be more awareness for people with mental health issues because half of the prison population have got mental health issues – I think if half of that was corrected by police or the NHS the prisons wouldn't be overcrowded," she noted. Even in prison, officials have stopped his medication without seeking a doctor and as a result, "He is having trouble sleeping and gets depressed and anxious on a daily basis but seems the prison does not want to address his mental health." While an appeal against his conviction has been rejected, Emma said that her partner is a changed person now. "He's even said how much he feels in himself. He's getting confidence," she recalled. Hutchinson has to "prove he's no longer a threat to the public" so that he can be moved into Category D where he can eventually apply for day release to come and see his family.
Cover image source: Essex Police (L) Getty | Photo by Chris Hendrickson (R) (Representative)