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Inquest into death of 22-year-old at HMP Winchester to open

Posted on: 10th March 2017

Coroner to examine death of Daryl Hargrave, one of five men to die at the prison over a four-month period in 2015.

Venue: Council Chambers, Castle Hill, The Castle, Winchester, SO23 8UL
Date: 13 March 2017 at 10 am

A jury inquest expected to last for four weeks will begin on 13 March, examining the circumstances surrounding the death of 22-year-old Daryl Hargrave, from London.

Daryl was found hanging in his cell at HMP Winchester on 19 July 2015 having been remanded into custody only six days earlier.

The inquest will examine:

  • The implementation and adequacy of self-harm and suicide prevention procedures.
  • Mental health assessment and provision at HMP Winchester.
  • The impact of a delay in administering Daryl with anti-depressant medication on his arrival at HMP Winchester.
  • The safety, adequacy, suitability and location of the cell Daryl was moved to in the healthcare unit at HMP Winchester on 18 July after he had self-harmed, including the prevention of the use of the door cell-hatch as a ligature point.

His death was one of five that occurred over just a four-month period at HMP Winchester and came the day after that of Haydn Burton whose inquest concluded in September 2016. The jury in that case were highly critical of the support given by staff to Haydn before he died, of communications between prison and healthcare staff and the observations made on Haydn.

Daryl had a long history of self-harm and suicide attempts, and had suffered from mental health problems from a young age.

He was remanded into HMP Winchester on 13 July 2015 after being arrested during the early hours of 12 July. On 15 July Daryl was placed on an ACCT (suicide and self-harm prevention measures) after telling a healthcare support worker that he had suicidal thoughts. He later reported that he felt there were demons in his blood and that he needed to either cut himself or kill himself to be rid of them.

On 18 July, he cut himself in his cell. A nurse requested that he be placed on constant watch but this did not happen and his observations were increased from hourly to ½ hourly.

Daryl was transferred to the healthcare unit, to a cell in a far corner where no staff passed by. He had no TV or radio, no one to talk to and was unable to smoke. Without a prescription, a nurse was unable to give him nicotine patches. He continued to express thoughts about killing himself to staff and at 3.11pm on 19 July 2015 was found hanging in his cell, having threaded his bed sheet through the observation hatch in his door. His scheduled 3pm ACCT observation had been missed.

Clair Hilder, civil liberties lawyer at Hodge Jones & Allen is representing Daryl’s mother, Nicola Hargrave. She says: “This is a terribly sad case of a young man with severe mental health problems who was reporting hearing voices, having suicidal thoughts and had cut his wrist. The family are concerned that he was insufficiently observed and was held in an unsuitable cell. It is particularly upsetting to his mother that Daryl had wanted to call her in the days prior to his death whilst he was in crisis and was unable to do so as he did not have any telephone credit.

Daryl’s death was the second that week at HMP Winchester and myself and Daryl’s family hope that this inquest will give a clearer picture of what happened at the prison so that lessons can be learned to prevent further deaths.

Clair Hilder also acts for the family of Haydn Burton and represented them at the inquest into his death last year. She has also been instructed by the family of a man who died at HMP Winchester in September 2016.

Daryl’s family are also represented by counsel, Taimour Lay from Garden Court Chambers.

Ends

For further information, please contact:
Louise Eckersley or Kerry Jack on 020 3567 1208 or email: louise.eckersley@blacklettercommunications or kerry.jack@blacklettercommunications.co.uk

Notes for Editors

Hodge Jones and Allen

  • Hodge Jones and Allen is one of the UK’s most progressive law firms, renowned for doing things differently and fighting injustice. Its senior partner is Patrick Allen and managing partner is Vidisha Joshi.
  • For almost 40 years’ the firm has been at the centre of many of the UK’s landmark legal cases that have changed the lives and rights of many people.
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