13 January 2022

Before HM Coroner Andrew Harris
London Inner South Coroner’s Court
Opens Monday 17 January 2022
Scheduled for three weeks

Nathan Forrester was 36 years old when he died at HMP Thameside in South London on 2 July 2019. He died just one day after arriving in the prison on recall, with the cause relating to drug toxicity.

The inquest will explore issues surrounding access to drugs in prison, the delayed response to shouts for help, and the subsequent emergency medical response.

Nathan was described by his family as an outgoing, sociable and friendly person who was the life and soul of the party. Religion was an important aspect of his life, growing up Catholic and later converting to Islam in his 20s.

Nathan was from East London and learnt Bengali at school, engaging with the large Bengali community in his area. He studied travel and tourism at college, but at that time was introduced to drugs. He was drug dependent for much of his adult life, causing serious concern for his family who remained close and supportive.

Nathan spent time living in a hostel and served short sentences in prison between 2017 and 2019, including at HMP Thameside. The offences related to funding his drug habits. He had engaged with treatment and rehab over the years, including whilst on probation, but sadly this had not yet had a sustained effect.

The family hope the inquest will consider:

  • How was Nathan able to obtain illicit drugs on the drug rehabilitation unit in HMP Thameside
  • Whether Nathan was adequately monitored and cared for by the substance misuse team and the healthcare team in HMP Thameside
  • The adequacy of overnight observations on 1-2 July 2019
  • The significant delay in attending Nathan’s cell after his cellmate raised the alarm

Nathan’s family also have serious questions about the adequacy of the emergency medical response, following serious concerns raised by the London Ambulance Service. They want answers on whether, had the response by both prison officers and healthcare staff been different, Nathan might be alive today.

ENDS

NOTES TO EDITORS

For photos, further information to note your interest, please contact Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or [email protected]

The family are represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Tara Mulcair of Birnberg Pierce solicitors and Tom Stoate of Doughty Street Chambers. The family are supported by INQUEST caseworker Becky Higgins.

Other Interested persons represented are Serco, Oxleas NHS Foundation Trust and the Metropolitan Police Service.