Before Assistant Coroner Ian Dreelan
Birmingham and Solihull Coroner’s Court, Steelhouse Lane, B4 6BJ
Opened 12 December
Scheduled for two weeks

Floyd Everton Carruthers, 58, died on 14 June 2021 after not leaving his cell in HMP Birmingham for four days. Today an inquest opens to establish the full circumstances of his death.

This was one of six deaths at the prison in 2021. In recent years, HM Inspectorate of Prisons has repeatedly and heavily criticised HMP Birmingham in recent years including issuing an Urgent Notification to the Secretary of State, seeking immediate improvements.

Floyd was from Birmingham. The eldest of four siblings, Floyd always wanted to help his family in any way he could. His family described him as a “kind and caring gentleman” who was “quiet but very popular and widely loved”.

Floyd had been experiencing mental ill health for over 20 years. He had been living in Midlands Heart Housing for 30 years where he had a designated housing officer who was aware of his mental health history and that he was receiving treatment from the community mental health team.

In March 2021, Floyd was reported by the housing association to police for breaching an anti-social behaviour injunction. He was arrested and held in police custody for three days before being transferred to Birmingham prison.

Upon his arrival at HMP Birmingham, healthcare staff noted that Floyd had a pacemaker fitted and that more information was needed. However, this was not followed up.

Following his arrest, Floyd’s family raised their concerns about his welfare directly with the prison. Floyd’s family were assured that he was alright. Floyd’s family also contacted the adult community mental health team but were told that they could not give any further information due to confidentiality.

From 25 May, Floyd did not leave his cell for four days and declined evening meals.

On 29 May, staff unlocked Floyd’s cell and found him slumped in a chair. An ambulance was called and Floyd was transported to Birmingham City Hospital. He appears to have arrived with severe bed sores and was diagnosed with sepsis from an infection at the site of his pacemaker.

He died in hospital on 14 June 2021.

The inquest will now consider:

  • The medical cause of death;
  • Floyd’s health and prison healthcare assessments around his pacemaker;
  • Whether the infection could have been prevented or identified sooner if Floyd’s pacemaker had been managed as expected;
  • Floyd’s history of mental illness and how this was managed after his arrest and upon his transfer to HMP Birmingham, including how the prison and mental health authorities responded to the concerns repeatedly raised by his family;
  • Whether prison staff should have identified the acute medical emergency sooner, and if yes, whether earlier hospital treatment have prevented Floyd’s death;
  • Whether the delay to paramedic transport to hospital would have prevented his death; and
  • Emergency response and hospital treatment.



For further information, please contact Lucy McKay on [email protected].

The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Lucie Boase of Broudie Jackson Canter and Matthew Turner of Doughty Street Chambers. The family are supported by INQUEST caseworker Jodie Anderson.

The other interested persons represented are the Ministry of Justice, Birmingham Community Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (BCHC) and Birmingham and Solihull Mental Health Foundation Trust (BSMHT).