HMP Nottingham inmate was 'seen crying on day of death'

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Nottingham Prison
Image caption,
The category B prison is situated just north of the city centre

A prisoner was seen "crying and upset" hours before he was found hanging in his cell, an inquest has heard.

Darren Capewell died on 7 February 2018, two days after being taken to HMP Nottingham following a court appearance.

Nottingham Coroner's Court heard measures to monitor the 37-year-old had been reduced before his death.

A prison officer said it was not possible to supervise all prisoners "24 hours a day, 365 days a year".

Custodial manager Nicholas Foster said: "Risk is risk - you can try to mitigate risk, but the risk is still there."

After arriving at prison on 5 February, Capewell was put under a programme known as Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) after he had banged his head on the floor in the dock and smashed his head into a court cell door.

The following day observation levels were reduced after a first-case review, but when he was found in his cell with a ligature around his neck that evening they were raised back to hourly checks.

A second review was brought forward to 7 February following the ligature incident, but the ACCT was closed.

The jury heard Capewell was found by a prison officer "hanging by a ligature round his neck" about six-and-a-half hours later.

Supervising officer Paul Street was the first member of staff at the jail to see Capewell when he arrived, and opened the ACCT process after receiving reports of his behaviour at court.

He said he did not "remember anything being out of the ordinary" in his behaviour when Capewell arrived.

Mr Foster said he did not recall meeting Capewell on that visit but knew him from previous sentences.

He said he had on occasions been seen by officers with a ligature around his neck, but "99% of the time" he would remove it when asked, and none of those ligatures were blocking his breathing.

The inquest continues.

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