Transgender prisoner found hanged at Woodhill prsion after her make-up brushes were delayed

A transgender prisoner was found hanged in her Woodhill cell after being told there would be a delay receiving make-up brushes, an inquest heard.

Monday, 12th September 2016, 1:22 pm
Updated Thursday, 15th September 2016, 4:06 pm
MPMC Woodhill Prison

Eddie Latham, known as Joanne Marie Latham, died at the all-male HMP Woodhill on November 27 2015.

Milton Keynes Coroner’s court heard the 38-year-old had asked to be referred to as Joanne in August and she “became very upset” when she was told there would be a delay in receiving her brushes.

Latham was serving time in the close supervision centre at the time - where dangerous and disruptive prisoners are housed.

She had been placed under surveillance in response to her behaviour but this was removed on November 19 - despite her not receiving the brushes which had been delivered to the prison 16 days before her death.

A week later, on November 26, she was informed there would be a further delay and she became aggressive.

The jury were told that in the evening Latham barricaded herself in her cell and covered the observation panel with a cloth.

She was verbally checked hourly and then every half an hour, but at 4.30am on November 27 there was no response from her cell and attempts where made to enter it. It took officers almost an hour before they were able to climb over the barricade and reach her.

She was found hanging from the window bracket and had a 16cm skin deep cut on her left forearm. Despite attempts at CPR, she was pronouced dead at 6.20am.

A post-mortem examination concluded Latham had died from hanging.

Tom Osborne, senior coroner for Milton Keynes, told the inquest today that Latham was serving life sentences for three attempted murders - two of which happened while in custody.

Latham had a history of self-harm and borderline personality disorder.

Alan Parkins, head of operations at HMP Woodhill, said: “Eddie probably was one of the most challenging prisoners I have ever managed.”

Mr Parkins told the court the delay in granting Latham access to his brushes was because they needed to be photographed “for security purposes”.

But when asked to explain why there had been a 16-day delay he said: “I can’t”.

The inquest into Latham’s death, which is expected to last four days, continues.

None of Latham’s family were present.