Alleged murder among Wales' prison deaths

Cardiff prison
Image caption The alleged attack happened at Cardiff prison last year

An alleged murder was among the 12 deaths in Wales' prisons last year, new figures show.

The incident at HMP Cardiff last March was one of three deaths at the prison during 2014.

There was one death in Swansea, three in Usk and five at Parc Prison in Bridgend.

A total of 234 people died in custody in England and Wales during 2014, including 82 inmates who took their own lives.

The Howard League of Penal Reform said the figures, based on notifications from the Ministry of Justice which records deaths in custody, showed the suicide rate behind bars had reached its highest level for seven years.

More than 120 prisoners died of natural causes, and a further 24 deaths are yet to be classified.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the league, said prison populations had increased whilst staff numbers had been cut, which was putting people at risk.

Prisons Minister Andrew Selous said every death in custody was a "terrible tragedy" and the Ministry of Justice was focussed on doing all it could to prevent them.

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