Birmingham murder suspect 'in good spirits' before death

Avtar and Carole Kolar
Image caption The bodies of Avtar and Carole Kolar at their Birmingham home on 11 January

A man accused of murdering a Birmingham couple was "in good spirits" before he was found hanged in his prison cell, an inquest has heard.

Rimvydas Liorancas, 37, died at HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes in January.

He was awaiting trial for the murder of Avtar Kolar, 62, and wife Carole, 58, whose bodies were found at their home in Handsworth Wood on 11 January.

Prison officer Mark Cairns told the Milton Keynes hearing he had had "no concerns" about Mr Liorancas.

He had conducted a "first night interview" with the suspected murderer and told jurors that he did not seem to be upset after his transfer from HMP Birmingham to Woodhill.

Describing Mr Liorancas' behaviour during a second follow-up interview, Mr Cairns said: "He was fine, he wasn't distressed in any way

"He was calm, he was in good spirits. I had no concerns at all about him."

Suicide note

Prison staff told the inquest that Mr Liorancas was receiving methadone to wean him off heroin when he was transferred to Woodhill on 21 January.

Seven days later, Mr Liorancas was found dead in his cell.

HMP Woodhill health care worker Deborah Simons said Mr Liorancas was not "showing any withdrawals from substance misuse", adding that "there was absolutely nothing significant about him at all".

The inquest heard that a suicide note and a letter to a relative, both written in Lithuanian, were recovered from the inmate's cell after his death.

Staff found him hanged at 08:50 GMT on 28 January and, despite efforts to revive him, Mr Liorancas was pronounced dead at 09:30 GMT.

Acting Det Sgt Philip Walsh, who attended the prison, said Mr Liorancas had been checked on five times during the night before his death, in accordance with standard procedure.

Asked by Coroner Elizabeth Grey to summarise the contents of the letters, Mr Walsh said: "Once they were translated it became clear that one was a suicide note and the other was just explaining the situation to a family member - that Mr Liorancas was not happy with the situation at that time."

The inquest, sitting at Milton Keynes' Civic Offices, is expected to conclude on Friday.

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