Prison officer describes moment he found woman dead in her cell

A prison officer giving evidence to an inquest has been describing the moment he found a woman dead in her cell.

Sarah Reed Credit: Lee Jasper

Answar Dinn told the inquest he had first checked on Sarah Reed just before 7am on January 11th last year by looking through the hatch of her cell.

He said she was standing by the sink but didn't reply when he said good morning.

A short time later he heard her shouting and banging on the door but when he next looked through the hatch of the cell she was lying on the bed with a strips of bed linen tied around her neck.

Officer Dinn said he shouted her name but she did not respond.

He told the jury that one of his colleagues suggested delaying before calling a "code blue" which meant alerting the control room so an ambulance would be called. Officer Anwar said he overruled them and shouted: "Call a f****** code blue now!"

Attempts to revive her failed.

The 32-year-old, who had a long history of mental health problems, had been on remand awaiting trial for assault. She was arrested after an altercation while she was being detained in a hospital in south London.

Her family says she should never have been moved from the care of the mental health hospital to prison where she was not given her medication.

At the start of the hearing the Coroner outlined Sarah's mental health history telling the court she became unwell after the sudden death of her newborn baby in September 2003.

He told the jury that Sarah and the child's father were forced to carry the baby's body in their own car to an undertakers - an ordeal she never recovered from.

Over the years she suffered from schizophrenia, bulimia and the affects of alcohol and substance abuse.

Her mother, who mother said before the inquest began that her daughter was adored and loved by the whole family.

The inquest continues.