Inquest into the death of Shalane Blackwood, 29 year old who died in segregation at HMP Nottingham, begins on Monday 25 April 2016

Monday 25 April 2016 at 10.00am
Nottingham Coroner’s Court, Old Market Square, Nottingham, NG1 2DT
Before Assistant Coroner Stephanie Haskey
Expected to last 2 weeks

On 5 August 2015 Shalane Blackwood, a 29 year old black prisoner, died at HMP Nottingham. It was later found that he had suffered a burst duo-denal ulcer.

Shalane had been on the Segregation Unit within the prison for nearly a month by the time he died. Staff began to express concerns about Shalane’s behaviour from 21 July 2015 onwards when he appeared to experience an acute deterioration in his health. Prison officers documented that Shalane did not seem to be eating, drinking or sleeping and appeared to be responding to unseen stimuli. On 21 July it was decided that Shalane should be placed under a four man unlock.

Shalane’s behaviour continued to be of concern and on 24 July attempts were made by staff to have him transferred to the Enhanced Care Area. However, this decision was overturned by a Governor. Five days later, on 29 July, he was assessed by a psychiatrist who made a referral to a medium secure unit. Shalane died before this took place. 

On 4 August Shalane was found with blood in his cell. He was restrained whilst a physical examination was carried out. However, the source of the bleeding was not identified. Shalane was not transferred to hospital and was placed on an ACCT. The following morning, on 5 August, Shalane was found dead in his cell.  

Shalane’s family were deeply shocked by his sudden death and are desperate for answers as to what happened to Shalane. The inquest is expected to focus on the adequacy of Shalane’s healthcare at HMP Nottingham.    

Linda Blackwood, Shalane’s mother said:

“I don’t understand how a fit and healthy young man could die while in segregation in prison. I hope this inquest will provide a thorough inquiry into our family’s concerns.”

Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST said:

“Shalane’s death raises serious issues of concern about the inappropriate use of segregation and the care and treatment provided to vulnerable prisoners.”

INQUEST has been working with the family of Shalane Blackwood since August 2015. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group member Rebecca Treece from Lester Morrill Solicitors and Ifeanyi Odogwu from Garden Court Chambers.