Prisoner found hanging in cell

 

An attacker who was told he could serve the rest of his life behind bars has been found hanging in his cell.

Martin Walker, 33, was found in his cell at the category A Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, last night and pronounced dead at about 7.30pm, the Prison Service said.

He was serving an indeterminate sentence of imprisonment for public protection (IPP) after being convicted of causing grievous bodily harm and burglary, sources said.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "HMP Woodhill prisoner Martin Walker was found hanging in his cell at approximately 7pm on Tuesday December 27.

"Staff attempted resuscitation and an ambulance was called but he was pronounced dead at approximately 7.33pm. The police, coroner and next of kin have been informed.

"As with all deaths in custody, the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation."

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has urged MPs to scrap the indeterminate sentences for serious criminals.

Presenting amendments to new laws on sentencing and punishment of offenders in November, Mr Clarke told the Commons that judges already had enough discretion to hand out life punishments to the most dangerous offenders.

And he said the indeterminate sentences had not worked properly since they were introduced under the Labour government in 2003, leaving thousands in prison beyond normal guidelines.

The IPP "experiment" left prisoners in a "Catch 22" situation, with no way of showing they were a "minimal risk to society", which they must do before they can be released, from behind bars, he said.

But Tory MP Philip Davies defended the sentences, which are aimed at those who pose a significant risk of causing serious harm to the public, telling Mr Clarke the reoffending rate for IPPs was just 5%.

Labour said Mr Clarke was taking a "weapon" out of judges' armoury and vowed to opposed the plan.

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

A groundbreaking study of 'Britain's Atlantis' long buried at the bottom of the North Sea could revolutionise how we see our prehistoric past

Britain's Atlantis

Scientific study beneath North Sea could revolutionise how we see the past
The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember,' says Starkey

The Queen has 'done and said nothing that anybody will remember'

David Starkey's assessment
Oliver Sacks said his life has been 'an enormous privilege and adventure'

'An enormous privilege and adventure'

Oliver Sacks writing about his life
'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

'Gibraltar is British, and it is going to stay British forever'

The Rock's Chief Minister hits back at Spanish government's 'lies'
Britain is still addicted to 'dirty coal'

Britain still addicted to 'dirty' coal

Biggest energy suppliers are more dependent on fossil fuel than a decade ago
Orthorexia nervosa: How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition

Orthorexia nervosa

How becoming obsessed with healthy eating can lead to malnutrition
Lady Chatterley is not obscene, says TV director

Lady Chatterley’s Lover

Director Jed Mercurio on why DH Lawrence's novel 'is not an obscene story'
Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests

Set a pest to catch a pest

Farmers in tropical forests are training ants to kill off bigger pests
Mexico: A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life

The dark side of Mexico

A culture that celebrates darkness as an essential part of life
Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde. Don't tell other victims it was theirs

Being sexually assaulted was not your fault, Chrissie Hynde

Please don't tell other victims it was theirs
A nap a day could save your life - and here's why

A nap a day could save your life

A midday nap is 'associated with reduced blood pressure'
If men are so obsessed by sex, why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?

If men are so obsessed by sex...

...why do they clam up when confronted with the grisly realities?
The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3

Jon Thoday and Richard Allen-Turner

The comedy titans of Avalon on their attempt to save BBC3
The bathing machine is back... but with a difference

Rolling in the deep

The bathing machine is back but with a difference
Part-privatised tests, new age limits, driverless cars: Tories plot motoring revolution

Conservatives plot a motoring revolution

Draft report reveals biggest reform to regulations since driving test introduced in 1935