Shaun Beasley's death partly due to neglect, inquest jury rules

 

Two private companies with lucrative prison and police contracts across Britain have been criticised by a jury for the role they played in the suicide of a vulnerable inmate with mental health problems.

Shaun Beasley, 29, was found hanging in his cell at Parc prison in Bridgend, south Wales in August 2010. He had a history of self harm and had previously made several serious suicide attempts.

A jury at the inquest into his death ruled that he "took his own life in circumstances contributed to by neglect of healthcare and prison".  

Parc prison and young offenders institute is the only private prison in Wales. It is run by G4 Securicor, the second biggest commercial employer in the world, which has six prison contracts with the Ministry of Justice.

At the time of Mr Beasley's death, G4S had sub-contracted out the healthcare services to Primecare Forensic Medical Services, which provides primary care or GP like services in prisons, police and other secure institutions across the country.

Prison inspectors found "chaos and crisis" within Parc's healthcare unit shortly after Mr Beasley death which they said was "foreseeable and preventable".

Inspectors said the provision of care and treatment by Parc to Mr Beasley was "grossly inadequate" leading to a systematic failure to protect him from suicide.

Similar systematic failures were identified in the healthcare wing run by Primecare at the 2009 inquest into Aleksy Baranovski death at Rye Hill in 2006.  G4S took over running Rye Hill in 2008.  

Experts last night called for urgent action to increase accountability of private contractors.

Deborah Coles, co-director of Inquest said: "Shaun's tragic death was an accident waiting to happen. What is deeply concerning is that Parc's healthcare was allowed to descend into such a state of chaos, again.

"This begs the question, what control and accountability is in place when things go wrong with private contractors?  What must happen now is national scrutiny and learning to address these deficiencies."

In May 2007 Shaun was given an indeterminate sentence with a minimum tariff of two years and 145 days.

He moved from Littlehey prison to Parc just two weeks before his death, in order to complete a course that would make him eligible for parole. But, once he had arrived at Parc he was informed the course was not in fact available, and he would have to wait two to three years.

At the time of his death he had served over three years.

The evening of his death he rang his sister to say goodbye because he could not cope any more. The family immediately rang the prison to alert them, but no action was taken, despite the fact Shaun was considered at risk of self-harm. He was found hanging in his cell a few hours later.

The jury at Aberdare Coroner's Court was told about desperate nurse shortages as Primecare had not filled vacancies in the run up to the end of their contract with G4S.

Louise Jeory, employed as Healthcare Manager at the time, told the jury about poor staffing levels, inadequate training, poor record keeping and low morale. She admitted that the healthcare unit was "compromised and unsafe" at the time of Shaun's death and that a breakdown in systems and a lack of competence contributed to his death.

Donna Ridgley, Shaun's sister, last night said the family were devastated that their warning phone call had been ignored. "The verdict has confirmed what we have always felt; we have always felt that Shaun had been let down and it is very important to us that there has been public recognition of this."  

G4S's Janet Wallsgrove, Director of Parc, said the coroner was satisfied that the correct improvements had been made. "Due to our concerns regarding inadequate provision, arrangements were already in place to bring [health] services in house and this occurred shortly after Shaun Beasley's death... Significant changes have taken place to improve the care given to vulnerable prisoners and those at risk.

Sarah Campbell, Operations Director for Primecare's secure health services, said:  "We are deeply sorry that the care that Mr Beasley received was not up to the required standards. Our services have improved greatly since this tragic incident in 2010."

News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
glastonbury
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Shock of the news: Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Nightcrawler’
filmReview: Gyllenhaal, in one of his finest performances, is funny, engaging and sinister all at once
Arts and Entertainment
Shelley Duvall stars in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining
filmCritic Kaleem Aftab picks his favourites for Halloween
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kit Harington has been given a huge pay rise to extend his contract as Jon Snow in Game of Thrones
tv
Life and Style
Taste the difference: Nell Frizzell tucks into a fry-up in Jesse's cafe in east London
food + drinkHow a bike accident left one woman living in a distorted world in which spices smell of old socks and muesli tastes like pork fat
Sport
Luke Shaw’s performance in the derby will be key to how his Manchester United side get on
footballBeating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Life and Style
Google's doodle celebrating Halloween 2014
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Don’t send in the clowns: masks and make-up conceal true facial expressions, thwarting our instinct to read people’s minds through their faces, as seen in ‘It’
filmThis Halloween, we ask what makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?
News
peopleFarage challenges 'liberally biased' comedians to 'call him a narcissist'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

The drugs revolution starts now as MPs agree its high time for change

Commons debate highlights growing cross-party consensus on softening UK drugs legislation, unchanged for 43 years
The camera is turned on tabloid editors in Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter'

Gotcha! The camera is turned on tabloid editors

Hugh Grant says Richard Peppiatt's 'One Rogue Reporter' documentary will highlight issues raised by Leveson
Fall of the Berlin Wall: It was thanks to Mikhail Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell

Fall of the Berlin Wall

It was thanks to Gorbachev that this symbol of division fell
Halloween 2014: What makes Ouija boards, demon dolls, and evil clowns so frightening?

What makes ouija boards and demon dolls scary?

Ouija boards, demon dolls, evil children and clowns are all classic tropes of horror, and this year’s Halloween releases feature them all. What makes them so frightening, decade after decade?
A safari in modern Britain: Rose Rouse reveals how her four-year tour of Harlesden taught her as much about the UK as it did about NW10

Rose Rouse's safari in modern Britain

Rouse decided to walk and talk with as many different people as possible in her neighbourhood of Harlesden and her experiences have been published in a new book
Welcome to my world of no smell and odd tastes: How a bike accident left one woman living with unwanted food mash-ups

'My world of no smell and odd tastes'

A head injury from a bicycle accident had the surprising effect of robbing Nell Frizzell of two of her senses

Matt Parker is proud of his square roots

The "stand-up mathematician" is using comedy nights to preach maths to big audiences
Paul Scholes column: Beating Manchester City is vital part of life at Manchester United. This is first major test for Luke Shaw, Angel Di Maria and Radamel Falcao – it’s not a game to lose

Paul Scholes column

Beating City is vital part of life at United. This is first major test for Shaw, Di Maria and Falcao – it’s not a game to lose
Frank Warren: Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing

Frank Warren column

Call me an old git, but I just can't see that there's a place for women’s boxing
Adrian Heath interview: Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room

Adrian Heath's American dream...

Former Everton striker prepares his Orlando City side for the MLS - and having Kaka in the dressing room
Simon Hart: Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manchester City will rise again but they need to change their attitude

Manuel Pellegrini’s side are too good to fail and derby allows them to start again, says Simon Hart
Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes