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Nicholas Wheller: Aylesbury inmate suicide partly due to neglect

Aylesbury Young Offenders' Institute
Image caption Nicholas Wheller was a convicted sex offender being held at Aylesbury Young Offenders' Institute

Neglect contributed to the death of a 19-year-old man who hanged himself at a young offenders' institution in Buckinghamshire, an inquest has ruled.

Convicted sex offender Nicholas Wheller took his own life in March 2011 at Aylesbury Young Offenders' Institution.

Following a three-week inquest, a jury in Beaconsfield ruled more could have been done to prevent his death.

An HM Prison Service spokesman said it would "look carefully" at the verdict to see what lessons could be learned.

Wheller was found hanging in his cell on 9 March and died seven days later in hospital.

He was described as a "vulnerable inmate" with learning difficulties and a history of self harming.

'Heartbreaking ordeal'

The inquest heard on the night he hanged himself Wheller gave a note to a member of staff telling them what he planned to do.

But the letter was not read in full and action was not taken, the court heard.

Wheller's family said they felt "justice" had been served by the ruling.

"We can only hope that lessons have been learnt from Nicky's death and that no other family has to go through such a heartbreaking ordeal," they said in a statement.

"This should not happen again."

Aylesbury Young Offenders' Institution was criticised in an independent report in 2007 because of the large number of inmates attempting suicide.

Since then, two other young men have killed themselves, in December 2008 and November 2011.

Coroner Richard Hulett called for action to be taken to prevent future deaths at Aylesbury and will be making recommendations to the prison.

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