Inquest continues into prisoner found hanged in his Woodhill Prison cell

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An inquest into the death of a man found hanged in his cell Woodhill Prison heard he had a history of mental illness.

Kevin Scarlet, who was on remand, was found dead in his cell on May 22 last year by prison officers unlocking his cell after lunchtime at around 2pm.

The jury at the hearing which was held at the coroner’s court, heard evidence from 30 witnesses including prison officers, GPs, a former prisoner and Mr Scarlet’s mother, Patricia Jarman of Hodge Lea.

The inquest, which began on Thursday, heard the 31-year-old, who was known to have suffered with a personality disorder, was discovered in his cell by prison officer Jason Webb.

He had suffered with a history of self harming with the court hearing he had told officers he would cut himself again and that he wouldn’t make the weekend just days before his death.

Mr Webb told the jury how he had been told by fellow officer, Claire Mitten, that she couldn’t see Mr Scarlet when she went to check on him and after he had himself looked through had seen a ligature around his neck.

He said after unlocking the door he cut him down with his fishknife before laying him on the floor and calling for medical assistance, which he said arrived in seconds.

Another witness, working for the healthcare team said he had immediately started CPR, checking Mr Scarlet’s airways but was unable to find a pulse. He called for an ambulance and continued CPR until the ambulance service arrived but there was no response.

The jury is set to return on Monday where they will hear further evidence before Coroner, Tom Osborne, sums up. They will then have to decide whether the death was an accident or suicide and decide on the level of care he received prior to his death.