12th August 2016

10am, Before HM Senior Coroner Dr Peter Dean

Address: Suffolk Coroner’s Court, The Farmer’s Club, 10 Northgate Street, Bury St Edmunds IP33 1HQ

Expected to last 15 days

 A jury inquest will begin on Monday 15 August into the death of 38-year-old David Smith. David died at HMP Highpoint following an incident of serious self-harm within a few hours of arriving at the prison on 23 May 2014.

David had a history of self-harm, was prescribed anti-depressants and was a vulnerable prisoner.  David’s family are concerned to learn why things went wrong for David so quickly within hours of arriving at HMP Highpoint, particularly given the history of deaths following self-harm in the months leading up to David’s death.

INQUEST has been working with the family of David Shane Smith since 2014. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Anna Thwaites and Sara Lomri from Bindmans LLP and Counsel Taimour Lay from Garden Court Chambers.


Notes to editors:

Please note the family of David Smith and INQUEST will not be making any further statements until the conclusion of the inquest.

David’s death was the third of four self-inflicted deaths within a short period at HMP Highpoint.

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Source: INQUEST Casework and monitoring


The inquest for Callum Brown concluded in January 2016 for more information see here, the inquest for Steven Trudgill concluded in May 2016 for more information see here.

HMP Highpoint latest inspectorate report is available here.

For further information, please contact: Shona Crallan at [email protected]

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.