11 October 2019

Before HM Assistant Coroner Nick Stanage
Manchester Coroner’s Court

7 – 10 October 2019

Yesterday, the inquest returned a short form conclusion that Jamal Hussein’s death was a result of misadventure after being found hanging in HMP Manchester. Jamal was 32 years old when he was found with a ligature in his cell on 2 September 2016. He died 11 days later on 13 September in hospital, on the same day he was granted bail.
Jamal, a Black man, born in Somalia and living in Hulme, Greater Manchester, was on remand in Manchester prison. His family described him as being very friendly and loved by his family and community. They said he loved life and was optimistic about his future and looking forward to seeing his little daughter and wife, who are in Somalia. He had a history of mental ill health and had previously spent time in hospital detained under the Mental Health Act.
During the inquest, the court heard evidence that a series of threats were directed at Jamal whilst in prison, including reports that he was being bullied. An intelligence report, created on 2 September, stated that two prisoners had been pressuring Jamal to conceal their contraband in his prison cell. The inquest heard that Jamal was assaulted on the 30 or 31 August, after prison officers found these items in his cell. He suffered bruising to his face and a loose tooth. He refused to report the assault to officers but had told family members that he feared for his life.
Jamal’s family made calls to his solicitor, the prison and his social worker to convey their concerns that Jamal was at risk. Evidence was heard at the inquest that prison officers were aware that there was an assault on Jamal and one officer had been told by another prisoner that Jamal had been punched. The Governor of HMP Manchester told the inquest that a total of three intelligence reports were submitted in relation to Jamal potentially being at risk or bullied, but only one report was analysed prior to his death. He told the inquest that the prison is currently operating a backlog of 195 intelligence reports, though the high-risk reports are dealt with urgently.
The analyst of the intelligence created on 2 September suggested that it was likely that Jamal had been bullied into keeping this in his cell on behalf of another prisoner(s) and that he should have extra support available. This was not passed on to wing staff. Further information suggested that following the assault, two prisoners threatened Jamal and said they would ‘get him cut up’ on 3 September. Around 6pm on Friday 2 September, someone from the prison called the family to assure them that Jamal was okay. Approximately two hours later they were informed that he had been taken to hospital and was in a coma, where he remained until his death.
In his summing up, the coroner made reference to the fact that the family did everything they could to check up on Jamal whilst he was in prison. He paid tribute to the efforts and care the family took to speak with Jamal on the phone, visit him and relay their concerns to the prison about his welfare.
Jamal’s family said: “As a family we still miss him dearly and we still grieve for his loss. However, his young daughter is most impacted by his death as she is very far away from the rest of the family. The whole family would like to thank our legal representatives Kelly Darlington and Paul Clark for their ongoing support at this difficult time.”
Kelly Darlington, Solicitor for the family said: “This is a very sad case in which a vulnerable young man who was struggling with his mental health, was receiving threats to his life by other prisoners and was assaulted shortly before his death. His family did everything in their power to ensure Jamal was kept safe during his short time at HMP Manchester but were left feeling helpless. It is nearly 3 years since Jamal's death and the family fought at every stage of the inquest process to find out the answers to the many questions they had surrounding Jamal’s death. It is hoped that now the inquest has concluded, they can grieve for him properly.”
Natasha Thompson, Senior Caseworker at INQUEST said: Despite a proactive, caring family and clear signs that Jamal was distressed and subject to violence, HMP Manchester failed to respond to calls for help and keep him safe. People in prison and their families have no choice but to entrust prison staff to fulfil their duty of care, while the mechanisms for doing so frequently fall short of what is required. 
Deaths, self-harm, violence, impoverished regimes and conditions are the daily reality of the prison system. Despair and distress are at unprecedented levels in failing institutions within a failing system. The failure to act on warnings from inspection, monitoring, investigation bodies and inquests exposes an accountability vacuum allowing dangerous practices to continue.”


For further information, a photo of Jamal or interview requests please contact Sarah Uncles on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]

Jamal’s family are represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Kelly Darlington and Alice Wood of Farleys and Paul Clark of Garden Court Chambers.

The other interested persons represented at the inquest were the Ministry of Justice and Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Trust.

For information and advice on how to safely report on self-inflicted deaths, please look at the Samaritans Media Guidelines for reporting suicide and self-harm.
INQUEST responded to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman annual report released this week which reported a 23 percent increase on self-inflicted deaths in 2018/2019 on the previous year.
There were eight deaths in Manchester prison in 2016. Of these deaths four were self-inflicted.
Since the beginning of 2017, there has been a further 17 deaths in HMP Manchester. Of these, seven were self-inflicted, two awaiting classification and eight non self-inflicted.