Killer found hanging in prison died because officers thought he was already dead

A notorious killer who was found hanging in his prison cell died because staff thought he was already dead.

He was supposed to be under observation once every hour but there were six instances when staff did not review him within an hour, with the longest gap an hour and 45 minutes.

Now a damning report into how Darren Adams died has found healthcare staff at Lindholme prison near Doncaster decided not to resuscitate the murderer found hanging in his cell because they wrongly thought he was already dead.

Adams, 55, who was jailed after he dismembered mum-of-three Natalie Chubb in Bransholme, Hull in 1998, died after his body was found hanging in his cell.

An ambulance arrived at the prison at 8.05am on November 12, 2017. Paramedics found that Adams did not have a pulse but they started CPR.

He had only been at Lindholme, a medium-security prison, for six days before he hanged himself, and had warned staff that he was in possession of a noose and had cut himself.

YorkshireLivereported that prison service staff underestimated his risk of suicide and failed to put adequate measures in place to reduce his risk, according to Elizabeth Moody, of the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

He was supposed to be under observation once every hour but there were six instances when staff did not review him within an hour, with the longest gap an hour and 45 minutes.

The report found healthcare staff did not try to resuscitate Adams after he had been found hanging "because they incorrectly believed he was already dead."

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"While we appreciate the distress of seeing a prisoner in such circumstances and that an officer must have regard for their own safety when considering whether or not to enter a cell alone, we do not understand why the officer concluded that it was not safe to enter Mr Adams' cell given what he had seen," the Ombudsman said.

The report said control room staff failed to call for an ambulance promptly, despite being told that Adams had been found hanging.

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There was a delay in the resuscitation attempt as the nurses believed there were clear signs of death, including the presence of rigor mortis, the Ombudsman report concluded.

"We note that paramedics managed to restart circulation and agree with the clinical reviewer that it was unlikely that rigor mortis had set in."

The report made a number of recommendations relating to the management of prisoners at risk of self-harm.

It added: "We consider that the nurses should have attempted resuscitation."

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