Police investigate death of prison inmate after guards seen on CCTV dumping his body into a van

Security camera footage showed the officers stripping the man and re-dressing him for a court appearance while seemingly ignoring his cries of pain

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The Independent Online

Police are investigating the death of a seriously-ill prison inmate after guards were caught on CCTV dragging him from his cell and dumping his limp body into a van.

Security camera footage showed the officers stripping the man and re-dressing him for a court appearance while ignoring his cries of pain, according to a prison ombudsman’s report.

Healthcare and other staff at the prison missed a series of opportunities to spot the man’s illness even after he had asked for medication three times in the night before he died.

He had spent four days in hospital after his arrest and continued to complain about his health after he was taken to prison. A nurse assessed him as being fit to attend court without even examining him.

It was only discovered that he was dead after an escort officer with the van demanded that a nurse examined him because he was not moving.

 

A post-mortem showed that he had died from the effects of a burst ulcer, according to the prisons and probation ombudsman Nigel Newcomen which outlined the case in his annual report. Officials said that they were unable to name the man or the prison because an inquest was yet to be held into the case but confirmed it was subject to a police investigation.

Mr Newcomen said that the report showed that the treatment of seriously ill inmates was still “shockingly poor”. He said it was “a reminder of the capacity of prisons, particularly when under pressure and faced with an increasingly ailing and ageing population, to slip into inhumane treatment”.

The report revealed a 15 per cent increase in deaths in prison from natural causes in 2014-15, largely because of the rapidly ageing prison population. The fastest growing group in prisons is the over 60s, linked to the increase in prosecutions for historic sex abuse cases.

A total of 250 died in prisons in the last year including 76 suicides and four people who were murdered, the report showed.

“What’s so shocking about the cases in this report is that too many of them raise concerns about inhumane and degrading treatment of vulnerable people,” said Deborah Coles, of the charity INQUEST which works with the families of those who have died in custody. “It’s a deeply depressing report and really shames the whole justice system. It’s indicative of a system in crisis that can’t properly look after people.”