Birmingham & Black Country

Government apologises over Birmingham prison 'suicide' mix-up

Winson Green prison
Image caption MP Stephen Doughty is calling for an investigation after relatives of an inmate at HMP Birmingham were wrongly told he had killed himself

A family who say they were wrongly told their son had killed himself in prison has received an apology from the government.

Stephen Doughty, Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth, said relatives of an HMP Birmingham inmate got a call informing them of his death earlier this month.

Thirty minutes later they were then told their son was alive, he said.

Prisons minister Andrew Selous has agreed to re-examine the case.

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G4S, which runs the prison, said it had checked phone records and was confident the call did not come from HMP Birmingham.

Mr Doughty, the local MP for the inmate, spoke in the House of Commons to call for an investigation into the incident.

He also criticised the "lengthy bureaucratic process" in transferring the prisoner to a secure mental health unit.

"I share the concerns of many honourable members about the situation involving prisoners with mental health issues and the risks they pose not only to themselves but also to others and, indeed, are faced by them in prisons and the concerns that the staffing cuts are having on that," he said.

Mr Selous apologised to the inmate's family "for being given terrible news that clearly wasn't true".

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