Relatives bring case against government over suicides at Woodhill Prison

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A hearing into suicides in UK prisons - including Woodhill Prison which has the highest rate of inmate deaths, has opened at the High Court today.

The most recent death at Woodhill was before Christmas, shortly after the High Court granted permission for the case to be heard.

Jason Basalat, 52, was found hanging in his cell on December 11 last year.

A total of 18 prisoners have killed themselves at the jail since 2013 despite repeated recommendations and guidance from coroners’ reports and official bodies that investigate deaths in custody.

Relatives of the prisoners are to bring a legal case against the prison’s governor and the justice secretary for allegedly failing to introduce basic safety measures.

The legal case has been brought by Pearl Scarfe and Julie Barber, the mother and sister of Ian Brown, who took his life in his cell in Woodhill on July 19, 2015, and Jamie Blyde, the brother of Daniel Dunkley, who died on August 2, 2016, four days after he was found hanging in his cell.

The Citizen is awaiting a comment from the Ministry of Justice.