Prisoner dies after throat slashed in privately-run Thameside jail

Man arrested on suspicion of murder at Serco-run facility in Greenwich, south London

Peter Stubley
Monday 13 January 2020 10:20
The inmate was found injured at HMP Thameside on Sunday morning
The inmate was found injured at HMP Thameside on Sunday morning

A prisoner has died after his throat was slashed at a privately-run jail in south London.

The inmate, aged in his forties, was found injured at HMP Thameside in Greenwich on Sunday morning.

He died at the scene inside the Serco-run prison, which opened in 2012 and holds around 1,200 people.

The Metropolitan Police said a man in his late 30s was arrested on suspicion of murder before being released under investigation.

However officers are also examining whether the prisoner’s injuries were self-inflicted.

The investigation is being led by the Met’s south east command unit, supported by Serco and specialist crime officers.

“Police were called at 2.37am on Sunday, 12 January, to HMP Thameside in Greenwich after an inmate was discovered suffering from a slash injury to his throat,” the force said in a statement.

“The man was pronounced dead at the scene by London Ambulance Service.

“His next-of-kin have been informed. Formal identification and a post-mortem examination will take place in due course.

“A man, aged in his 30s, was arrested on suspicion of murder. He was taken into custody and was subsequently released under investigation pending further enquiries.

Officers are working to establish the full circumstances, including whether the deceased’s injuries were self-inflicted or were the result of an assault.”

A 2017 prison inspection report found “levels of violence were high” at HMP Thameside, which serves courts in east and southeast London.

HM Chief Inspector of Prisons Peter Clarke said: “There was a good violence reduction plan in place and although there had not been a reduction in violence, Thameside had bucked the trend in comparable prisons as it had not experienced the huge rises in violence seen elsewhere. This was a significant achievement.”

Although it had a “generally settled and respectful atmosphere”, the prison also had “extremely high turnover of prisoners” with an average stay of 36 days.

Trish Mitchell, Serco contract director at HMP Thameside, said: “Sadly there has been a death at HMP Thameside. A man has been arrested and our staff are working closely with the police.”

Additional reporting by Press Association

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