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Inquest jury criticises Dartmoor prison in death of young prisoner

20 November 2018

Stephen Simblet

Stephen Simblet of Garden Court Chambers, instructed by Cormac McDonough of Hodge Jones and Allen, represented Ollie’s family at the inquest, which was held in Exeter.

A jury sitting at the inquest into the death at HMP Dartmoor of Oliver Pascoe made findings that there had been bullying, failures to follow statutory guidance on prisoner placement and inadequate prison supervision of the area in which Ollie had been placed.

The jury also made findings that the system for monitoring the collection of prescribed medications was inadequate. The jury also found that communications between healthcare and prison officers at Dartmoor was inadequate, with important information not being shared thus preventing an effective risk assessment being carried out.

The jury recorded that these may have contributed to Ollie’s death. The inquest also heard that there was no CCTV on prison landings, despite money having been requested for its installation. The Coroner, Assistant Coroner Ms Lydia Brown, made a prevention of future deaths report in relation to the installation of CCTV on landings. The inquest heard that HMP Dartmoor had a significant problem with drugs, especially NPS/spice, being smuggled and distributed in prison.

Stephen Simblet is a member of the Garden Court Chambers Inquests and Inquiries Team.

More information about the inquest can be found on the Hodge Jones and Allen website.

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