'Serious failure' to protect inmate led to prisoner's death

Michael Cameron was found hanging in his cell at HMP Woodhill in April last year. Credit: Submitted.

Watch Chloe Keedy's report above.

An inquest has delivered a damning verdict following the death of an inmate at a Milton Keynes prison.

Michael Cameron was found hanging in his cell at HMP Woodhill in April last year. He is one of 18 men to have died at the jail since 2013 and the third of seven men to have taken their own lives just last year.

A jury concluded his death was suicide while the coroner said there had been "serious failures" to protect a vulnerable prisoner.

Mr Cameron had only been an inmate at Woodhill Prison for one week when he was found hanging in his cell by a prison officer.

A coroner said the prison's procedures had been inadequate and the jury found this had contributed to his death.

The 45-year-old's mother Maureen Cameron hailed the findings as "justice".

There were more suicides at HMP Woodhill in 2016 than in any other prison.

When Mr Cameron had arrived last April, he had been identified as "extremely high risk".

While in police custody, the 45-year-old had harmed himself and had been placed on constant observation. Once arriving at the prison, he was the subject of hourly observations.

But staff at Woodhill failed to make him an urgent mental health referral.

In a statement read to the jury, Mr Cameron's cellmate Paul Griffiths said he was "very worried" about him.

He described an incident where he had taken razorblades from Michael and handed them to prison officers.

The next day Mr Griffiths was moved to another cell leaving Mr Cameron alone.

The jury said this was inappropriate and had contributed to his death.

The inmate was supposed to be checked on every half an hour but he had been left alone for 36 minutes when he was discovered hanging in his cell.

Earlier this month, an inquest into the death of Daniel Dunkley, an inmate who hanged himself in Milton Keynes in July 2016, found neglect had played a part in his death.

Campaigners are calling for corporate manslaughter charges to be brought against HMP Woodhill.

HMP Woodhill in Milton Keynes Credit: PA.