A man who was found hanged in his cell at Parc Prison, near Bridgend, took his own life "in circumstances contributed to by neglect", an inquest jury has ruled today. Both the prison, managed by G4S, and the company responsible for healthcare at the time, Primecare - Forensic Medical Services, contributed to the neglect.
Shaun Beasley, who was 29 and from Surrey, was 'highly vulnerable', his family has said. 'He suffered from serious mental ill health. He had a history of self-harm and had made several serious suicide attempts.' Aberdare Coroner's Court heard he had a history of self-harm, paranoia and depression. He was transferred to HMP Parc specifically so he could enrol in a drugs treatment programme, and placed on a healthcare wing of the prison where he could be checked every half an hour. His body was discovered in his cell on 24 August 2010.
The prison's management says major changes have been made to healthcare services since then. Wayne Ridgely, Shaun Beasley's brother-in-law, says that - had those changes been made earlier - 'he would still be here today.'
Mr Beasley's family have said that those responsible for care at the prison failed him. They point to poor communication between staff, and failures in record-keeping and the documentation of calls. They say, on the night of his death, Mr Beasley phoned to say he could not cope. His sister immediately called the prison to tell them of his state of mind. He was already on half-hour observations, but that was not increased and he was found hanging in his cell shortly after midnight.
The company running healthcare at HMP Parc at the time the prisoner's death, Primecare - Forensic Medical Services, says it recognises the care provided 'fell below our high standards.' It sends its 'sincerest condolences' to Mr Beasley's family and friends.
G4S, the security company which manages Parc Prison on behalf of the Ministry of Justice, says that there's been a 'fundamental review' of the way vulnerable prisoners are cared for since Mr Beasley's death.
Sophie Willet from the Howard League for Penal Reform says there's a concern that cuts to prison budgets could end up in more tragic deaths.