Jail review after suicide bid by Soham killer

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The Independent Online

A security review is to examine how Ian Huntley, the Soham murderer, managed to take a drug overdose despite being considered a suicide risk.

The killer of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, both aged 10, was recovering in hospital last night after having his stomach pumped out.

The prison authorities were accused of "lax" security as it emerged that an inquiry into a sucicide attempt by the 32-year-old in June 2003 had concluded that he continued to pose a significant risk of self-harm. In addition, the double killer had his suicide watch downgraded three weeks ago, according to a prison union official.

The review was launched after Huntley was found unconscious in his cell at 1.19am yesterday suffering from a suspected drug overdose.

He was taken to intensive care at nearby Pinderfields Hospital where, following treatment, he was placed under heavy sedation. The incident at Wakefield high security prison in West Yorkshire has prompted criticism of the Prison Service's supervision of one of Britain's highest-profile killers.

Questions will also be raised about procedures at Wakefield, where Harold Shipman, the serial killer, committed suicide in January 2004. Huntley, a former school caretaker, murdered Holly and Jessica in Soham, Cambridgeshire, in August 2002.