Inquiry into how a man suffering mental illness hanged himself in jail (From Darlington and Stockton Times)
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Inquiry into how a man suffering mental illness hanged himself in jail
AN inquiry into how a man suffering a mental illness hanged himself in jail opened today.
Vincent Morgan, 30, was found hanged in his cell in HMP Northallerton on the evening of December 28 during a routine cell check by staff.
A jury inquest into his death was held today (Monday, October 30) at County Hall in Northallerton.
The inquiry heard how prison staff attempted to save him by removing the ligature he had created from his bed sheet and administering CPR, but he was pronounced dead at the scene by paramedics.
A post-mortem examination confirmed Morgan had died from his injuries.
The jury heard how Mr Morgan, 30, suffered head injuries after being hit by a car when he was four-years-old and was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia in his early twenties.
Morgan, who lived at home with his parents at Askew Avenue in Hull, received regular psychiatric care.
But in April last year Morgan hit his mother as they walked him home after taking him for a drink in a pub and then punched his father, knocking him unconscious.
His father, Trevor Morgan, told the inquest they rang the police, thinking their son would be sectioned in a medical unit, but instead he was charged and convicted of assault. He was sentenced to 22 months in jail.
The consultant psychiatrist who assessed him for the court, Dr Pratish Thakker, found Morgan was aware of his actions, the charges against him and what would happen if he pleaded guilty and did not recommend a hospital order, unless his condition deteriorated in prison.
Morgan was remanded to Hull Prison, where his family visited him regularly.
But towards the end of last year, his family discovered he had been moved to the lower security jail at Northallerton.
The inquest heard that Morgan’s family and the medical team at Hull Prison monitoring him were not informed the inmate was being transferred to the North Yorkshire prison, 85 miles away, until he had already been moved.
His father told the inquest when they visited their son in Northallerton, they were concerned at his condition.
He said: “He was trembling and his tongue was rolling in his mouth and he was talking to himself. There was a warden sat at the back supervising the visit. We told him we though he needed some kind of medication.”
The inquest heard Morgan was receiving medication and psychiatric help in Northallerton jail and his father said he seemed happier in the smaller, lower security jail than at Hull.
But just after Christmas, on his mother’s birthday, the family became concerned that their son hadn’t made his daily phone call to their home.
They became concerned and tried to contact the prison to ensure he was okay. But hours later he was discovered dead in his cell.
The inquest continues.