7th November 2016

Before HMC Mairin Casey, Nottingham Coroners Court

Time estimate: 3 weeks

The inquest into the death of Ainsley Rush opens today at Nottingham Coroners Court.

The 34 year old died at HMP Ranby on the 7th April 2015.  Ainsley had a history of self harm and suicide attempts.  He was discovered by prison staff in his cell.  Paramedics were called but were unable to save him.

The inquest will examine the steps taken by the prison in response to increasingly vulnerable and bizarre behaviour displayed by Ainsley in the period immediately before his death. 

HMP Ranby has seen a stark increase in self inflicted deaths.

  • Between 2005 and 2012 there were no self inflicted deaths reported.
    • In 2013, three deaths occurred (2 self inflicted and 1 awaiting classification).
    • In 2014, four deaths occurred (2 self inflicted, 1 ‘natural causes’ and 1 awaiting classification).
    • In 2015 (the year of Ainsley’s death), six deaths occurred (4 self inflicted, 1 homicide and 1 awaiting classification). Two of these deaths occurred within 4 days of each other.  

While the 2012 HMIP inspection report (that followed an announced inspection) described a prison that was ‘almost outstanding’, a report in 2014 (following an unannounced inspection) described a troubling picture, concluding the prison was not safe, with ineffective systems and structures to reduce violence and self harm in response to threats and intimidation.  The HMIP wrote in its report of December 2015 (following an announced inspection of Ranby) that “safety remained a major concern”. 

The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group member Kelly Darlington, Farleys solicitors.


Notes to editors:

The number of self inflicted prison deaths (England and Wales) has continued to rise over the past five years: 58 in 2011, 61 in 2012, 76 in 2013, 87 in 2014, 88 in 2015 and 95 to date in 2016. 

See INQUEST statistics: http://inquest.org.uk/statistics/deaths-in-prison

For further information, please contact INQUEST on 020 7263 1111.


INQUEST provides specialist advice on deaths in custody or detention or involving state failures in England and Wales. This includes a death in prison, in police custody or following police contact, in immigration detention or psychiatric care. INQUEST's policy and parliamentary work is informed by its casework and we work to ensure that the collective experiences of bereaved people underpin that work. Its overall aim is to secure an investigative process that treats bereaved families with dignity and respect; ensures accountability and disseminates the lessons learned from the investigation process in order to prevent further deaths.

Please refer to INQUEST the organisation in all capital letters in order to distinguish it from the legal hearing.