Former detective constable Peter Foster who was jailed for murdering his girlfriend is found hanged in cell at Lewes Prison

Foster’s death came after Nathan Vaughan-Jones, 34, who stabbed his stepfather to death after a long-running family feud, was found hanged at the same prison on Friday

A former detective jailed for life for murdering his partner was today found hanged in his cell in the second apparent suicide at the jail in three days.

Peter Foster, 36, a former detective constable who had been on suicide watch, was found in his cell at Lewes Prison where he was serving a minimum of 17 years for the murder of his partner, a serving officer with Surrey police.

Foster stabbed Detective Constable Heather Cooper, 33, in front of the couple’s two young children before dumping her body in woodland in October last year. He admitted killing her and had previously tried to commit suicide while on remand.

He was discovered at 3am but attempts to resuscitate him by prison staff failed and he was declared dead 25 minutes later.

Foster’s death came after Nathan Vaughan-Jones, 34, who stabbed his stepfather to death after a long-running family feud, was found hanged at the same prison on Friday. Vaughan-Jones, who had been serving 11 years for manslaughter, had not been on suicide watch.

The prisons and probations ombudsman will conduct inquiries into both of the deaths at the East Sussex prison.

Mark Leech, the editor of the prisoners’ newspaper Converse, said that warnings of potential suicides were often passed on by other inmates and the inquiry would attempt to discover if signs had been missed. But he added: “If someone is determined to take their own life, they will do it.”

Ms Cooper was killed at the couple’s home while she was on maternity leave with her second child, born just weeks before her death. Foster claimed that Ms Cooper had attacked him first at their home in Haslemere, Surrey, and he initially reacted in self-defence. He hit her over the head ten times with a baseball bat before stabbing her in the throat.

He initially tried to cover his tracks by cleaning up the crime scene and then sending a series of fake text messages to suggest she was still alive before hiding her body in a shallow grave in woodland. The Court heard that he had expressed “genuine remorse” over what he had done.

He led police to the body after telling officers that they should arrest him for murder. His defence team said in June that Foster must “live with the fact he killed the woman he loved, the mother of two of his three children, and he knows he has ruined all of their lives and knows that nothing he can say can undo the pain and the hurt that everyone feels”.

Foster’s life unravelled after his father was shot dead during an armed robbery in Sierra Leone in 2009. He was caught drink-driving for which he was prosecuted and led to his resignation from Surrey police.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice