No new inquest on cell hanging — (The Express and Star)

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The Express and Star

Dec 19, 2009

Judges have refused to order a fresh inquest into the death of a mother-of-five who was found hanging in a prison cell three years ago.

Caroline Powell, who was 26 and from Tipton, was found in her cell in Eastwood Park Prison.

Miss Powell was being held on remand at the prison in Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, when she died on January 5, 2007 – the day after being refused release on bail.

London’s Civil Appeal Court heard yesterday how Miss Powell was a “troubled” woman with a history of self-harm and drug abuse.

She had been prescribed anti-depressants before her death after a doctor who visited her remarked on her “low mood” but she was not deemed to be suicidal.

She was found hanging from a sheet attached to a wardrobe.

An inquest jury in May last year returned an “accident” verdict after the judge said that while it was clear she had “brought about her own death”, there were doubts over whether she had intended to kill herself or if it was simply a “cry for help” that went wrong.

Ms Powell’s family have since fought a legal campaign for a fresh inquest, but their hopes were dashed by Lord Justice Kay, sitting with Lord Justice Dyson and Lord Justice Rimer.