Portsmouth prisoner ‘went berserk’ nurse tells jury at inquest

Kingston Prison
Kingston Prison
Bob Higgins at an earlier court hearing  Picture Habibur Rahman/Solent News

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A NURSE has told an inquest how she was afraid of a prisoner after he acted aggressively when seeking treatment for chest pains the day before he died.

Anthony Nolan, 49, was found dead in his prison cell at Kingston prison in Portsmouth on the morning of December 22, 2009.

The previous morning, Mr Nolan had told prison officers that he was suffering from chest and arm pains and that he wanted a member of the healthcare team to visit him in his cell.

He then went down to see a nurse himself.

He was seen by Sarah Taylor who said he would need an assessment including checks on his blood pressure and temperature.

An ECG test also needed to be carried out.

But a clinic was being held at the time and as staff felt he didn’t need to be seen urgently as he was not suffering any pain at the time, suggested he could return an hour later.

But when he returned he was abusive with both Nurse Taylor and nurse Kay Steele, expressing anger that he hadn’t been assessed straight away.

Ms Taylor said: ‘As we unlocked the gate I can recall Nurse Steele thanking him for coming back.

‘But she didn’t even finish her sentence.

‘He just went completely berserk. He was by then up on his feet.

‘He was shouting. His language was very abusive.

‘I was actually very scared of his behaviour.

‘It was an absolute shock and surprise having seen him earlier when he was very calm.

‘Something had triggered him into a different mood.’

She added that when she had told Mr Nolan to come back an hour later he had been calm and hadn’t expressed any concerns.

She said that they would not have been able to assess him until he had calmed down.

‘It wouldn’t have been possible to carry out an assessment while he was behaving in that way,’ she added.

‘We wouldn’t have been able to get a decent recording.’

Healthcare staff met shortly afterwards to discuss what happened and had decided that as Mr Nolan did not appear to need emergency care, an ECG test could be carried out the following day.

A pathologist has previously concluded that Mr Nolan died of heart disease.

(Proceeding)