7 May 2021

Before Dr Anton van Dellen, HM Assistant Coroner
West London Coroner’s Court
25 Bagley’s Lane, London SW6 2QA

Opens 10 May 2021 - scheduled for 10 days

Winston Augustine, 43, was found hanging on Thursday 30 August 2018 at HMP Wormwood Scrubs. He was being held in the segregation unit at the time of his death and had been transferred there under restraint 48 hours earlier. The inquest into his death opens on Monday 10 May, starting with a pen portrait of Winston from his family.

Since 2015 there have been 23 deaths of men at HMP Wormwood Scrubs, of which 11 were reported by the prison to be self-inflicted. The most recent death was in March 2021.

Winston’s family describe him as a loving and caring man who adored his family, especially his mum. He was an active and caring stepfather to his partner’s children, attending her son’s football matches every Sunday. For many years Winston worked with the arts charity Safe Ground, focused on using drama to support current and former prisoners. He accepted the Longford Prize on their behalf. Winston had been in Wormwood Scrubs previously and was released in January 2017.

Winston was not being monitored under suicide and self-harm procedures (known as ACCT) prior to being found dead. His family are concerned that, to their knowledge, Winston had no history of mental ill health or self-harming behaviour and have questions about the treatment he received from prison staff.

During the two days Winston spent in the segregation unit staff did not open Winston’s door to check on him, and he was not given any food and only a low dose of his pain relief medication. There are questions around whether the required hourly checks were completed, or some checks were recorded but not completed.

The family hope the inquest will consider:

  • The transfer of Winston to the segregation unit and treatment he received there.
  • The monitoring of Winston’s wellbeing at the prison, including checks in the hours prior to his death.
  • The staffing and policies of the segregation unit where Winston died.
  • The treatment or lack of treatment he received from healthcare staff at the prison.


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

The inquest is being held at West London Coroner’s court and unfortunately no remote access for the media is being offered by the court. There are limited seats in court which will be available on a first come first serve basis, but may be reserved for family as required.

Winston’s family are represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Tim Lloyd of Matthew Gold & Co. solicitors and Anita Davies of Matrix Chambers. They are supported by INQUEST caseworker Bola Awogboro.

Other Interested persons represented are the Ministry of Justice, Practice Plus Group (formerly Care UK), the Forward Trust, and Barnet Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust.

Journalists should refer to the Samaritans Media Guidelines for reporting suicide and self-harm and guidance for reporting on inquests.

The latest statistics on deaths and self-harm in prison in England and Wales (published 29 April 2021) showed a record high of 154 deaths in prison in the past quarter, and a 42% increase in deaths in the past 12 months.