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."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Barn owls are among species that could be affected
charity appeal
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricketEoin Morgan reportedly to take over ODI captaincy
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas