Mum, 82, wins damages after her son hanged himself at Woodhill prison

Woodhill Prison
Woodhill Prison

The 82-year-old mum of a man who hanged himself at Woodhill prison  after his television was stolen have been paid £17,500 in damages.

Ian Brown, 44, had mental health problems and was found dead in his cell in July 2015.

He was one of 19 men who took their own lives at the jail over a five year period.

Ian’s mum Pearl Scarfe and sister Julie Barber sued the prison governor and the Ministry of Justice under human rights legislation that protects the right to life.

The pair had previously failed in their bid for a judicial review to force Woodhill to comply with national prison standards on preventing suicides.

Afterwards they concentrated on their case for damages and last week the High Court agreed the settlement, which will be paid by the government.

Mrs Scarfe will use some of the money for her own funeral costs, to enable her to be laid to rest beside her son.

Mr Brown suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and depression and had threatened to take his own life before he died.

He had complained to officers that he was being bullied over tobacco debts.

On the morning of July 19 2015 he told officers other prisoners had taken his prison-issue TV from his cell.

Officers said they would resolve the issue. But at 1.10pm Mr Brown was found hanged.

Northants Police arrested Mr Brown in January 2015. He was on remand for aggravated burglary with intent to commit gbh and threats to damage property.