Second person dies within a month at Morton Hall immigration removal centre

Refugee support group claims deceased man took his own life after being refused bail 

Niamh McIntyre
Friday 13 January 2017 18:33
Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre
Morton Hall Immigration Removal Centre

A man has been found dead in a suspected suicide at British detention centre - the second death at the facility in little more than a month.

The Home Office confirmed to The Independent that the 27-year-old Polish detainee died at Morton Hall detention centre on Wednesday.

The announcement comes just over a month after a 49-year old inmate was found dead at the same centre on 6 December, and has prompted calls for better levels of health care and mental health support.

The Home Office has not yet confirmed the cause of death, but detainee support group The Unity Centre said fellow detainees at Morton Hall believe he killed himself, and was found hanged in his room.

The group claims the man was refused bail on 23 December, because his heavily pregnant partner was unable to travel to a bail hearing, and therefore could not act as his ‘surety’ - a person who the courts believe will help a detainee adhere to the terms of their bail conditions.

A statement from the Unity Centre said: “[The deceased’s] baby was born on the day of the suicide. It is believed he was aware of the birth before he took his life, and that he had expressed enormous grief at not being allowed to see the birth of his child.

“Detainees in Heathrow Removal Centre, Colnbrook, Morton Hall and Yarl’s Wood [Immigration Removal Centres] overwhelmingly report on the poor levels of health care and mental health support.”

The latest announcement brings the total death toll in immigration removal centres to 29 since 2000. In the same week as the death of the 49-year-old detainee at Morton Hall, Tarek Chowdury, 64, was murdered at Colnbrook Immigration Removal Centre, near Heathrow.

A Home Office spokesperson said: “We can confirm that a 27-year-old Polish man who was detained at Morton Hall immigration removal centre was found dead on Wednesday 11 January. Our thoughts are with the individual’s family at this very sad time.

“As is the case with any death in detention, the police have been informed and a full independent investigation will be conducted by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged in