Prison death: ‘It is just tragic that they didn’t get there in time’

Bedford Prison.
Bedford Prison.

The boss at Bedford Prison has said there was nothing more staff could have done to save a inmate who hanged himself.

Following an inquest into Jason Clint Jermaine-Brown’s death, prison governor Ian Blakeman has praised the quick actions of staff who did their best to save the inmate.

He said: “Everything the staff did was exemplary, it is just tragic that they didn’t get there in time and couldn’t bring him around.”

Last week a jury ruled that 42 year old Jason, who had just days earlier been recalled to prison, committed suicide on June 15 last year.

At the time of his death the inmate had been identified as at risk following a psychiatric assessment and was being checked on twice every hour.

He hanged himself during a 15 minute period between being unlocked from his cell to get his meal at 11.25am and being discovered hanging at 11.40am.

Mr Blakeman said: “There was a medical response and the defibrillator was applied within two minutes of him being found.

“The ambulance was called within a minute. The air ambulance arrived and a doctor arrived.

“Sometimes you look at these cases and you soul search and think maybe we did something wrong but I don’t think that is the case here.”

He said that since Jason’s death, an NHS psychiatric team now works at the prison during weekends - previously it was a Monday to Friday service.

Mr Blakeman said: “I had been pushing for that anyway bit this has been a catalyst.”

There were two deaths at the prison last year - the other was the result of natural causes.

A £6 million refurbishment project is set to get underway at the prison from May, which will see the window bars replaced to make them safer and more secure and the heating system upgraded.

Mr Blakeman is moving on to take up the top job at Bullingdon Prison in Bicester at the end of this week. Clive Large will become acting governor at Bedford Prison until a permanent replacement is appointed.