Inquiry into killing of man by cellmate

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An independent inquiry was announced yesterday into the death of a man killed by his paranoid schizophrenic cellmate.

The inquiry will centre on the killing of 30-year-old Christopher Edwards, who died in a shared cell on C wing at Chelmsford prison, Essex, after an attack by Richard Linford, who had a long history of violence.

The four-man inquiry team - jointly commissioned by the Prison Service, Essex County Council social services department and the North Essex Health Authority - will be chaired by Kieran Coonan QC.

Edwards, who had been arrested for using abusive words and behaviour, died on 29 November last year after Linford beat him to the ground and repeatedly jumped on his head, smashing his skull.

His injuries were so severe that his parents were never allowed to see his body. He was formally identified from dental records.

In April, Linford, 32, from Maldon, Essex, who was diagnosed a schizophrenic seven years ago, admitted manslaughter on grounds of diminished responsibility and was sent to Rampton hospital "without limit of time".