5 October 2020

Before HM Assistant Coroner for County Durham and Darlington, Oliver Longstaff
Durham Miners Hall, DH1 4BE*
Starts 7 October 2020 at 9am, expected to last to 16 October 2020
 
Garry Beadle, 36, was found hanging in his cell at HMP Durham and died in hospital four days later on 11 February 2019. Garry was in custody on remand and had only been at HMP Durham for six days. The inquest into his death opens on 7 October 2020. Garry was the first of four men to die a self-inflicted death in Durham prison in 2019 and there have been a further four self-inflicted deaths in 2020.
 
Garry was born in London, raised in Watford and moved to Newcastle where he lived for 12 years. He had five children, one of whom tragically died at four weeks old. His family described Garry as being a loving and mischievous child, who was never happier when he had his football boots on. Garry was such an important and influential member of his local football team, Oxhey Jets, that a stand has been named in his honour.
 
It was Garry’s first time in prison and he was awaiting trial. There were a number of factors which indicated that Garry was at high risk of suicide and self-harm. He was on suicide and self-harm monitoring procedures (known as ACCT) at the time of his death and a close friend had contacted the police about concerns of Garry’s suicide risk. The inquest will explore the steps taken to protect Garry.
 
Garry’s mother, Karen Beadle, hopes the inquest will consider:

  • The identification and response to prisoners at a high risk of suicide in HMP Durham.
  • The increased risk of suicide in remand prisoners.
  • Garry’s access to prescribed medication.
  • Training provided to prison officers in relation to suicide and self-harm warning forms (known as SASH forms) and on suicide and self-harm monitoring documents (known as ACCT).
  • The adequacy of the emergency response when Garry was found.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS:

For further information and to note your interest, please contact INQUEST Communications Team 020 7263 1111 or email [email protected]. A photo of Garry is available online.

*Please note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, members of the public or media who wish to attend the inquest in person or receive an audio link must apply to the coroner in advance [email protected]
 
Garry’s family are represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Tara Mulcair of Birnberg Peirce and Stephen Clark of Garden Court Chambers. The family are supported by INQUEST caseworker Jasmine Leng.
 
The other Interested Persons represented at the inquest are the Ministry of Justice, Tees Wear and Esk Valley NHS Foundation Trust (responsible for mental health services in HMP Durham), GEOAmey (responsible for security staff at Bedlington Magistrates Court), G4S, Spectrum (responsible for physical healthcare in HMP Durham).

The most recent inspection of Durham prison by HM Inspectorate of Prisons in late 2018, found that the ‘overriding concern was around the lack of safety in the prison’ and found it ‘disappointing to see that the response to recommendations from the Prison and Probation Ombudsman had not be addresses with sufficient vigour or urgency'.
 
The Prison and Probation Ombudsman’s report ‘Learning from PPO investigations: Risk factors in self-inflicted deaths in prisons’ published in April 2014 found that remand prisoners made up 43% of deaths in custody but only 13% of the total prison population.
 
The Ministry of Justice’s report ‘Safety in Custody Statistics, England and Wales: Deaths in Prison Custody to December 2018 Assaults and Self harm to September 2018’ published in January 2019 also found that remand prisoners, and those serving indeterminate sentences, had a higher rate of self-inflicted deaths than those serving determinate sentences.
 
Please refer to the Samaritans Media Guidelines for reporting suicide and self-harm in using the content of this media release.