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Inmate’s move ‘contributed to death’

Mark Doyle was found hanged in his cell after being switched from substance misuse wing

15 December, 2017 — By Emily Finch

Pentonville Prison

AN INQUEST jury found that an inmate’s move from Pentonville Prison’s substance misuse wing to a general wing while he was withdrawing from methadone was “inappropriate” and contributed or caused his death.

During the seven-day inquest into the death of Mark Doyle, 44, at St Pancras Coroner’s Court, the jury heard from Mr Doyle’s sister alongside prison officers and nurses employed by private health giant Care UK, which provides care at the prison.

Mr Doyle was found hanged in his cell in G wing – the prison’s largest wing – on March 21. He died on March 28 at University College London Hospital. Cause of death was given as cardiac arrest as a result of a ligature compression to the neck.

He had been remanded in custody for the attempted murder of his partner and had been on methadone, a synthetic opiate used mostly by recovering heroin addicts.

Mr Doyle decided to stop using methadone a few days after entering prison.

The jury concluded that a prison officer’s failure to identify and make a note of the anniversary of Mr Doyle’s son’s death contributed or caused his death.

They also ruled that a delay by prison officers to respond to Mr Doyle’s cell bell led to or contributed to death. Cell bells at the Caledonian Road prison are used to alert officers of an emergency.

During the third day of the inquest the jury heard from Mr Doyle’s sister, Christina Aslam, who described how she warned the prison’s safer custody team that he was at risk of suicide and that the anniversary of his son’s death was coming up.

At the inquest, the prison worker who received the call denied being told about the anniversary.

Coroner Heather Williams QC will now decide whether to publish a prevention of future deaths report.

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