Nottingham

Nottingham Prison inmate Shalane Blackwood died following 'neglect'

Shalane Blackwood Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Shalane Blackwood became a father seven months before he died

A mother whose ill son died in prison after being neglected by staff says he should not have been left to die.

Shalane Blackwood complained of stomach pains and told his mother Linda Blackwood he was dying when she last spoke to him on 21 July.

He was found dead in his cell on 5 August, having suffered internal bleeding due to an ulcer.

An inquest jury decided "systematic failings amounting to neglect" significantly contributed to his death.

'Something was wrong'

The 29-year-old, from Derby, had been jailed for possession of a firearm and was on a licence recall when he died in the segregation unit at Nottingham Prison.

His mother Linda Blackwood said: "I knew something was wrong when he was in HMP Nottingham - I just wish my concerns had been listened to at the time when I raised them.

"I feel Shalane's death could have been prevented."

'Should have been diagnosed and treated'

The narrative conclusion given by the jury said: "Shalane Blackwood died from internal bleeding caused by a duodenal ulcer - a condition which should have been diagnosed and treated.

"Systemic failings amounting to neglect by prison and healthcare staff at HMP Nottingham significantly contributed to Shalane's death."

The Prison Service said in a statement: "We make every effort to learn from each death in custody and our thoughts are with the family of Mr Blackwood.

"We will consider and respond to the findings of the coroner's inquest and see what lessons can be learned."

Blood was found in Mr Blackwood's cell the day before he died but he was not taken to hospital.

Rebecca Treece, a solicitor representing his family, said: "It is deeply concerning that Shalane was found with blood in his cell and, even though the source was not identified, further investigations were not sought.

"Shalane's family were particularly shocked by this."

'Staff overwhelmed'

She added that "urgent action" is needed to address the issues uncovered by the inquest.

The death was investigated independently by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) and a report is due to be published.

The most recent inspection report by HM Inspectorate of Prisons, published in February 2015, said Nottingham Prison was not safe enough and conditions were poor.

Andrew Neilson, campaign director for the Howard League for Penal Reform, said at the time: "Staff are being overwhelmed by the amount of work… and the pressure on them because of cutbacks."

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