Bristol Prison ‘failed’ suicidal prisoner

Youth in Prison Celloriginally published by: The BBC
11th January 2010

An inquest jury has said that management procedures at Bristol Prison were “seriously flawed”, after hearing how a man hanged himself at the jail.

Stephen Bartman, 26, was found hanging from a sheet, nine hours after being admitted to the prison in May 2008. The hearing at Flax Bourton heard that a report that Bartman was a suicide risk was ignored by the prison staff.

Deputy Coroner Brian Whitehouse said he would write to the prison’s governor to recommend procedures were tightened. The court heard that on the day he died, Bartman, of Jacob’s Wells Road, Bristol, had been sentenced to 27 months for perjury.

Staff at the custody suite of the city’s crown court noticed red marks on his neck and concluded that he had tried to strangle himself.

They compiled a report for the prison, stating that in their view, Bartman – who was addicted to heroin – was a suicide risk.

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