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Inquest resumes into the death of 26 year old Edwin O’Donnell in HMP Liverpool
30 June 2017
Before Senior Coroner for Liverpool and Wirral Mr Andre Rebello OBE
Liverpool Coroner’s Court, Gerard Majella Courthouse, Liverpooll L5 2QD
July 3 2017 - expected to last two weeks
The family of 26 year old Edwin O’Donnell (‘Ned’), found hanged in his cell the segregation unit at HMP Liverpool is hoping to find answers at the inquest into his death, starting on Monday 3 July 2017. Since 2015 there have been 14 deaths at Liverpool Prison. HM Inspectorate of Prisons recently found the prison was not sufficiently good across all tests, including safety.
Ned had been held in the segregation unit for 1 month prior to his death on 23 October 2016. The jury will hear evidence that he was on a self harm and suicide prevention plan (known as ACCT) at the time of his death. The inquest jury will consider a number of issues including: allegations of bullying, the adequacy of information transfer between prisons, Ned’s location in segregation, risk management and mental health care.
Leanne Dunne of Broudie Jackson Canter who represent the family said:
“This is another tragic death of a young man in HMP Liverpool. The family are understandably concerned about the circumstances surrounding Ned’s death and we hope that the inquest will answer their questions and provide them with some closure.”
The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Leanne Dunne and Alice Stevens of Broudie Jackson Canter Solicitors and Ifeanyi Odogwu of Garden Court Chambers.
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information please contact: Lucy Mckay on 020 7263 1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
• In May 2016 an inquest jury found neglect caused the death of 24 year old Lee Rushton at HMP Liverpool, in damning narrative conclusion. Full details can be found here.
• In 2015 HMIP carried out an unannounced inspection ‘with outcomes not sufficiently good across all four of our healthy prison tests. This, in particular, reflects a deterioration in outcomes that determine the quality of respect in the prison and in the prison’s approach to resettlement.’ … ‘A particular concern was the number of deaths over the previous 14 months...We were assured that the prison was addressing the recommendations of the Prisons and Probation Introduction Ombudsman who had investigated the deaths; and the number of self-harmers and those at risk subject to case management was slightly reduced. The quality of case management was inconsistent and often weak, however, which was not good enough bearing in mind the evident risks faced’
• To date, since 2015 there have been 14 deaths in HMP Liverpool, 6 of which were self inflicted and one of which is awaiting classification.
‘I was already working with INQUEST, which is the organisation who monitor deaths in custody, and at one AGM I told the audience that what happened to these people [killed in police custody like Chistopher Alder, Roger Sylvester and many others] could happen to any of us. And then a couple of years later, I was standing in front of them again but now it had happened to my cousin. So my family and me were now “users” of Inquest. It shows you that none of us are immune – here am I, Benjamin Zephaniah, patron of INQUEST and client of INQUEST at the same time.’
– Benjamin Zephaniah