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Inquest into death of 32-year-old who reported bullying at HMP Norwich to open

Venue: Norfolk Coroners Court, Carrow House, 301 Kings St, Norwich
Date: 10am on 17 September 2018 – 28 September 2018

A jury inquest examining the circumstances surrounding the death of 32-year-old Matthew Gray from Norfolk will begin on Monday 17 September. His death was one of three that occurred at HMP Norwich over a four-month period last year.

Matthew was found hanging in his cell on 20 March 2017 and died in hospital on 22 March 2017.

The inquest will examine the circumstances of his death and whether enough was done to prevent it. It will also look at whether there are steps that can be taken to prevent similar deaths in the future.

The family is being represented at the inquest by Alice Hardy of London solicitors Hodge Jones & Allen, and Ruth Brander of Doughty Street Chambers.

Alice Hardy said: “In its September 2016 inspection of HMP Norwich, HM Inspectorate of Prisons found that the number of assaults at the prison was increasing and criticised the prison’s investigations of these incidents. We hope that the inquest will shed further light on the prison’s handling of a vulnerable prisoner who was one of three men to die at HMP Norwich over a four-month period.”

Selen Cavcav, Caseworker at INQUEST said: “We hope that this inquest provides answers to the family in relation to how Matthew died in such distressing circumstances. Only through a robust inquest scrutinising the actions of the prison and healthcare staff who operated in that prison, can we have an answer as to how there can be one death after another behind the bars of the same prison involving what appears to be very similar failures.”

Hodge Jones and Allen also acted for 36-year-old Joe Bartlett from Colchester in Essex who died at HMP Norwich on 5th April 2017 after being found in his cell with a ligature around his neck. At his inquest the jury noted that procedures to reduce the risks of self-harm and suicide were not adequately followed, there was insufficient information gathering, and there was a failure to recognise the seriousness of the bullying to which Joe was subjected and to respond accordingly.

The family are also being advised by the charity, INQUEST.