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INQUEST OPENS INTO THE DEATH OF VULNERABLE PRISONER JONNY RILEY IN HMP NORWICH

 INQUEST PRESS RELEASE – For immediate release 6 July 2010

before HM Coroner for Norfolk , Mr William J Armstrong,
sitting at The Assembly House,
Theatre Street,
Norwich NR2 1RQ

The inquest into the death of Jonny Riley will commence on Wednesday 7 July 2010 and is listed for 11 days.

Jonny Riley, aged 28, was found hanging in his cell at HMP Norwich on 12 March 2008. Jonny had a history of substance misuse, fitting and episodes of self-harm and attempted suicide. He was also being treated for heroin addiction in the community via a methadone treatment programme.

Jonny was remanded at HMP Peterborough on 8 March 2010, where he was subject to a detoxification programme, which included the provision of methadone. He was transferred to court on 11 March 2010, where he had a fit in his cell. He was taken to hospital and while there, escort staff were informed that HMP Peterborough could not accept any more prisoners. Thus Jonny was immediately �locked out’ and transferred to HMP Norwich under Operation Safeguard.

At HMP Norwich there were no facilities for the provision of methadone. Jonny had two further fits and displayed increasingly distressed behaviour. He was finally moved to Healthcare where he made threats to kill himself. He was found hanging in his cell the same day at approximately 4.50pm.

Jonny’s family hopes that the inquest will examine the following matters:

•  The failure to open an ACCT at any point during Jonny Riley’s detention.

•  The failure to provide key healthcare interventions at both Peterborough and Norwich.

•  The failure to assess, monitor and manage his risk of self-harm/ suicide.

•  The failure to ensure that Jonny be returned to HMP Peterborough where he was actively participating in a detoxification programme.

•  The failure to actually call an ambulance after one fit, despite an ambulance being specifically requested by a staff member.

•  The decision to place the observation hatch in Jonny’s cell door in HMP Norwich in the closed position despite his clear threats of self-harm.

•  The failure of both of these prisons to properly manage prisoners with recognised substance misuse and mental health difficulties.

Jonny Riley’s family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group member Anna Booth of Coninghams Solicitors.

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