A former homeless man who died days after being admitted to Woodhill Prison in Milton Keynes was “failed by the entire system” say his friends.
Duncan Campbell, 49, had mental health problems, heart trouble, diabetes, and had suffered a stroke.
He spent months living in a car parked in somebody’s garden, then was housed in a series of B&Bs and hostels.
“I spent two years fighting the authorities on his behalf. I battled with the council to house him, social services to help him, and the mental health services to give him the treatment he desperately needed,” said one friend.
“The council finally gave him a flat – a place in North Ninth Street that was infested with cockroaches. But nobody else seemed interested in helping him.”
Duncan was in and out of hospital and had a pacemaker fitted months before he died.
He was also assessed by mental health services due to his erratic behaviour and self harming. But he was deemed not bad enough to need inpatient treatment, an inquest heard last week.
On September 26 last year Duncan was picked up by police in the middle of the road, where he was waving a knife and trying to cut himself. He was taken to police cells and charged with possessing a weapon.
“He was so unwell that he couldn’t go to court and a magistrate came to the cells,” claimed his friend.
Duncan was remanded to Woodhill prison on September 27. Five days later died of a heart attack.
Coroner Tom Osborne ruled natural causes.
Duncan’s friend said: “Prison was not the right place for Duncan. He was badly let down by the authorities and it seems he slipped through every net in MK.”