11 July 2018

Media release via Broudie Jackson Canter

Anthony Hill of Liverpool, was found hanging in his cell during the morning of 6th March 2017. His death was confirmed by paramedics at 11:28am.

In December 2016 Anthony was remanded in HMP Preston. An initial mental health assessment conducted on 7th December, found that Anthony was suffering from mild anxiety and depression.

Anthony was sentenced on 6th January 2017. On 23rd January he complained of low mood, anxiety and difficulties in sleeping. He was duly prescribed mirtazapine anti-depressants and a review was arranged for 2-3 weeks. Anthony was then moved to HMP Hindley the following day.

The jury heard evidence that Anthony’s anti-depressants although prescribed, had not been issued before his move to HMP Hindley. This caused some confusion with the medical practitioners at HMP Hindley as they thought Anthony had a weeks’ worth of medication and thus began another prescription for Anthony for the following week. Evidently this meant there was a delay in ensuring Anthony received his medication.

On 3rd March Anthony met with his Offender Supervisor. They informed him that as a consequence of his restraining order, Social Services may get involved in order to monitor contact with his daughter.

The jury heard evidence from Anthony’s fellow inmates that Anthony’s main anxieties concerned his partner and his children. He was worried that conveying his mental issues to the Mental Health team, along with the restraining order would mean that Social Services would stop him from seeing his children upon his release. Anthony also relayed to his fellow inmates that he felt extreme guilt for his actions, he was not coping well and that this weighed heavily on his mind.

At approximately 8:30am on 6th March 2017, Anthony refused to go to work. An Officer visited his cell and questioned his refusal. The Officer then left Anthony and continued to escort the other inmates to work. At approximately 10:50am during the postal round, Anthony was discovered by a Prison Officer. On seeing Anthony suspended the Officer left the cell, closed the cell door, alerted colleagues via the staff radio calling for ‘medical assistance and then went to the landing and shouted for further assistance. The jury heard evidence from the Governor, that the Officer may have shouted for assistance as well as use his radio as there was a known shortage of radios at this time in HMP Hindley.

The jury heard that the first Officer to check Anthony believed he felt a weak pulse but could have been mistaken. Despite the best efforts of the healthcare team and the paramedics Anthony could not be resuscitated. Anthony was pronounced dead by paramedics at 11:28am.

The jury heard evidence that the failure to call ‘code blue’ upon discovering Anthony was against prison protocol. Consequently this failure meant that there was a delay in the ambulance being called.

The jury found that Anthony died as a result of deliberate self-suspension with an intention to ending his life. Although minor errors were identified by the jury, they found that these errors did not contribute in any way to Anthony’s death.

The family of Mr Hill said:

‘We are grateful to our Solicitors for ensuring our voices were heard. We had many questions that we now feel have been answered. We hope lessons can be learned and prisoners’ wellbeing can be at the forefront of the Prison’s objectives so that future deaths can be prevented. We finally have some closure and we will remember our Anthony with much love and affection.

We wish to give special thanks to Emma Favata, Jenny Fraser and Beth Morris for their extreme hard work and diligence throughout this difficult time.’

Jenny Fraser, Solicitor representing the family, said:

“It is sad to see yet another death in prison custody.  It is crucial that lessons are learnt by all to prevent any future deaths from occurring.  It is vitally important that all prisoners are receiving the medical treatment they require and appropriate monitoring and safeguards are put in place to protect current and future prisoners.

The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Jenny Fraser and Leanne Devine from Broudie Jackson Canter Solicitors and Emma Favata from Garden Court Chambers who was assisted by Beth Morris of Broudie Jackson Canter at the Inquest.  

Notes to editor:

  • Broudie Jackson Canter specialises in civil liberties and social welfare with teams dedicated to; actions against the police and inquests, immigration, housing, criminal matters, prison law and guiding people with mental health issues through legal difficulties.
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  • The size of the Jackson Lees Group means that not only is the firm small enough to value clients on a personal level, but large enough to have the experience required to deliver an exceptional service to clients.
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