Bristol

Prison service 'failed' man who killed himself in jail

Callum Smith Family/BBC
Image caption Callum Smith was found hanged in his cell at HMP Bristol in March 2016

An inquest has found failings by the prison service contributed to the death of a man who killed himself in jail.

Callum Smith, 27, from Cheltenham was found hanged in his cell at HMP Bristol in March 2016.

Avon Coroner's Court heard he had a history of mental illness when he was remanded in custody after threatening to burn down his mother's house.

The Ministry of Justice said it would "carefully consider" the findings of the inquest.

The inquest heard Mr Smith had begun suffering from paranoia and delusions before he was remanded in custody.

The court was told that while he was in custody Mr Smith repeatedly self-harmed and threatened to kill himself.

He was not initially placed on a self harm and suicide prevention plan, known as an ACCT.

When he was finally placed on an ACCT after he cut himself, he was then taken off it again.

He was discovered hanged in his cell on 2 March 2016.

Image copyright Cullum Smith Family
Image caption The court heard Mr Smith had a history of mental illness

The jury found inadequate attention was paid to concerns raised by his family, an inadequate mental health assessment was carried out, and those involved in his care failed to communicate adequately.

Gloucestershire Police also failed to pass on information that Mr Smith had threatened to kill himself while in a police cell before he was transferred to prison.

The jury recorded a verdict of suicide while suffering anxiety and distress, contributed to by a number of inadequacies and failings while in custody and remand in prison.

The Ministry of Justice described it as "a tragic case" and said it recognises there were "failings" in Mr Smith's care.

But Gloucestershire Police said: "While there were details missing from Callum's records when he was transferred to prison there was sufficient information for the appropriate assessments to be made."

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