Beds, Herts & Bucks

HMP Woodhill death: Acting governor admits 'checks had failed'

Exterior Woodhill Prison
Image caption Acting governor Nicola Marfleet said HMP Woodhill is "routinely short of officers"

The governor of a prison where an inmate was found hanged in his cell has admitted "checks failed".

Thomas Morris, 31, was discovered in his cell at HMP Woodhill, near Milton Keynes, in June 2016.

An inquest has heard how he sought mental health care before his death.

Nicola Marfleet, acting governor, told the hearing: "I accept management checks had failed on different levels. I am responsible, I will always accept that."

'Losing control'

The inquest has previously heard how Mr Morris was moved to a single cell after throwing his television on to a landing.

Asked whether Mr Morris might still be alive had he not been moved to a solo cell, Ms Marfleet said: "In hindsight that may have saved his life, but maybe leaving him where he was would have caused harm.

"One individual throwing a TV onto a landing narrowly missing an inmate could be the thing that tips the wing into us losing control.

"My duty is to care for each prisoner. A decision is not made in isolation."

She told how the jail had a staff "deficit", meaning there is "a regular trickle of resignations which means we are routinely short of officers".

The inquest continues.

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