Jury finds several failings caused death of young prisoner at HMP Leicester

Tuesday 15 March 2016

A jury has returned a critical narrative conclusion following the inquest into the death of a prisoner who was found hanging at HMP Leicester on 29 August 2014.

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Lloyd was a talented young man with aspirations of a career in the music industry. It was his first time in custody. He was known to be vulnerable, having a history of mental health issues and self-harm in the community.

Lloyd was held in the segregation unit for over four weeks, almost the entire period he was in prison, until his tragic death. Earlier this year, a damning report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons declared this segregation unit “unfit for habitation” and recommended that it should be closed immediately.

The jury found that Lloyd was ‘unnecessarily’ and ‘inappropriately' placed on a three-officer unlock, which caused difficulties for staff accessing him. They also found that suicide and self-harm procedures had been ended in error. On the day he was discovered, CCTV footage of Lloyd’s prison wing showed that mandatory hourly checks that were documented in the log book, did not take place. It also transpired that the last documented observation of Lloyd alive did not happen and had been added to the log book after Lloyd had been discovered hanging and taken to hospital.

The jury concluded that the above failings contributed to Lloyd's death. The Coroner indicated that he will be making recommendations to prevent future deaths in relation to the condition of the segregation unit, and training of staff.

Lloyd’s family said:

“Although we are pleased with the conclusions of the jury and the criticisms they have made, this is a small consolation. It was clear Lloyd was crying out for help, but the prison’s response was to lock him away on the segregation unit, which is difficult to accept. We would like to thank our legal team - Gemma Vine, Ifeanyi Odogwu and Charles Myers - for all the hard work they have put in to Lloyd’s case”

Gemma Vine, solicitor representing Lloyd’s family, said:

This case highlights both failings with HMP Leicester and also a national problem regarding a lack of resources to support prisoners with serious mental health disorders.”

The case was reported locally by the Leicester Mercury.

The family was supported by INQUEST, and represented by Gemma Vine from Lester Morrill solicitors and Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers.

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