Inmate’s burns death after smoking Spice in cell

Inmate’s burns death after smoking Spice in cell


HMP Hewell prisoner ‘set himself on fire while smoking Spice’ A prisoner died of burns injuries after accidentally setting himself on fire while smoking the so-called zombie drug Spice, a report has revealed
 The inmate at HMP Hewell, in Redditch, Worcestershire, “might have been saved” were it not for an “unacceptable” delay in responding to his cell bell
 Details of the death were revealed in the annual report of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman
 A disciplinary investigation was subsequently opened. Presenting her annual report, ombudsman Sue McAllister said psychoactive substances continued to be a “serious problem” in jails
 The report also found self-inflicted prison deaths in England and Wales have increased by 23% in a year
 The Hewell prisoner, who had been jailed for robbery, had a long history of drug misuse but had “failed to engage” with the support he had been offered, the report said
 In September 2018, the 31-year-old pressed his emergency cell bell and called for help but it was 16 minutes before an officer found him
 He was said to be conscious, but unable to comply with staff instructions, and had severe burns to most of his body
 The report found the prisoner “may not have reacted initially because he was under the influence” of the psychoactive substance
 He died two days later. Ms McAllister said it was a “very tragic and very distressing” case that revolved around the delay in responding to the bell
The report also found: The report also included details of a case in which a 75-year-old inmate at Channings Wood Prison, Devon, who could walk only with a stick, was handcuffed to two prison officers while he was taken to hospital in an ambulance
 The man, who was serving a sentence for sexual offences, had a pacemaker, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and had been diagnosed with a urinary infection
 The report said the man’s risk to the public was assessed as high, “but. the risk assessment also noted that he could only move short distances, used a walking stick, needed help for all his care needs and had very poor vision”
 Ms McAllister said it was one of “very many cases” in which elderly or unwell inmates were restrained, including some who were close to death
 She said such practices were “unacceptable” and “inhumane”. The ombudsman would be conducting an “overarching
extraordinary” independent investigation into the death of a baby whose mother gave birth alone, at Bronzefield Prison, Surrey, she added
 Prisons Minister Lucy Frazer said the government funding measures “to stop drugs which fuel violence and self-harm, improving support during the often difficult first few days in custody”
 She also said almost 4,400 more staff had been recruited in the last three years”

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