Inmate died after warnings were missed — (Lancashire Evening Post)

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Lancashire Evening Post

Sept 11, 2013

A prisoner who died from severe cuts to his neck and groin on the first day of his sentence at HMP Preston warned the authorities he would attempt suicide if he was sent to prison.

Kieron Gray, 42, was suffering from depression after a spinal abscess led to him losing the use of his legs and suffering a number of associated health problems.

On August 25 2011 he was jailed for two years following a trial at Preston Crown Court and transferred to the prison in Ribbleton Lane.

An inquest, at Preston Coroner’s Court, heard risk of self harm notices were faxed to two fax machines at the category B prison but neither appeared to have come to the attention of those dealing with Mr Gray.

On August 26, just one day into his sentence, he was handed a disposable razor to shave with. Hours later he was found with fatal injuries.

Opening the inquest, Dr James Adeley, said Mr Gray had appeared “calm and in good spirits” to those who came into contact with him at the prison.

However pre-sentence and psychiatric reports prepared ahead of the sentence hearing warned Mr Gray was a danger to himself.

Michelle Haynes, a probation officer with Lancashire Probation Trust, who prepared the pre-sentence report, said: “Mr Gray told me he would kill himself if he was sent to prison.

“I believed he meant what he said.”

Consultant psychologist Dr Quamar Lodhi also prepared a psychiatric report into Mr Gray’s mental state.

He told the court: “He was under a lot of stress. He was finding it very difficult to cope with the stress he was under.

“He couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel. He was hopeless, helpless and worthless.”

Dr Lodhi said Mr Gray had frequent suicidal thoughts but his daughters and grandchildren stopped him from acting on them.

He added: “He said if he went to prison that would be gone. There would be nothing left in life.”

The jury heard Mr Gray had been having weekly physiotherapy and had managed to take a few steps using a walking frame.

He was taking antidepressants on a daily basis but still presented to Dr Lodhi as suffering with moderate to severe depression.

Dr Lodhi said: “He was a very sad person. I don’t think it needed a psychiatrist to look at him and say ‘this is a depressed person’.”