First Posted on Antidepaware.co.uk
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By Rachel Wearmouth
An inquest into the death of 38-year-old Boniface Umale heard prison workers missed opportunities to help the vulnerable inmate who used strips of his bed sheets to fashion rope
A prisoner seen ‘rehearsing’ his suicide with a ligature round his neck was months later found hanging in his cell, an inquest heard.
An inquest into the death of 38-year-old Boniface Umale heard prison workers missed opportunities to help the vulnerable inmate who used strips of his bed sheets to fashion rope.
Mr Umale, who was due to face trial on rape and three counts of sexual assault and had expressed concerns about his future, was found hanging at HMP Durham on Sunday, March 24, where he was being held on remand.
Despite attempts to revive him he was pronounced dead and a Home Office pathologist told the hearing he died from pressure to the neck.
The Nigerian, who lived at Strathmore Crescent in Newcastle’s Benwell, had recently graduated with a MSc in engineering project management from Northumbria University but feared the allegations – which he denied – would mean he would never find work.
A hearing at Crook Coroners’ Court yesterday heard Mr Umale had stopped taking prescribed anti-depressants and health professionals with Care UK, a company contracted by the Ministry of Justice to look after inmates’ mental health, discharged him after he appeared to be well.
But they admitted more should have been done to prevent him taking his own life.
Community psychiatric nurse Anthony Rose said Mr Umale had presented as experiencing symptoms no more out of the ordinary than others at the jail and he had recommended him for ‘low level support’.
The inquest continues.