Hanged remand prisoner felt he had ‘demons in his blood’

Daryl Hargrave, who was found dead at HMP Winchester on July 19, 2015.
Daryl Hargrave, who was found dead at HMP Winchester on July 19, 2015.

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FAMILY of a remand prisoner who died six days after entering a jail have said they want answers.

Daryl Hargrave, 22, was the second man to die at HMP Winchester in a single week in July, 2015.

He had been remanded to the prison after being arrested following a stabbing in Gosport.

Lawyers acting for his family said he was found dead at 3.11pm on July 19 – 11 minutes after he was supposed to have been observed in his cell. Solicitors said the scheduled observation was missed.

His inquest is due to take place in Winchester from Monday, and his family hope they will learn more of his death.

Solicitors acting for Mr Hargrave’s family said he had a long history of self-harm and suicide attempts, and had suffered from mental health problems from a young age.

Mr Hargrave, from London, had been remanded on July 13, and was put on suicide and self-harm prevention measures when he told a healthcare support worker had suicidal thoughts.

Solicitors said he reported he felt he had demons in his blood and he needed to heal himself or cut himself to be rid of them.

After he cut himself on July 18 in his cell a nurse asked he be placed on constant watch but it did not happen.

He was observed more frequently at 30-minute observations.

Mr Hargrave was put in the healthcare unit, with no TV or radio and had no-one to speak, and could not smoke.

He was then found dead on July 19 at 3.11pm in his cell, where he was found hanged.

A scheduled 3pm observation had been missed, his family’s solicitor said.

Clair Hilder, civil liberties lawyer at Hodge Jones & Allen is representing Daryl’s mother, Nicola Hargrave.

Ms Hilder said: ‘This is a terribly sad case of a young man with severe mental health problems who was reporting hearing voices, having suicidal thoughts and had cut his wrist.

‘The family are concerned that he was insufficiently observed and was held in an unsuitable cell.

‘It is particularly upsetting to his mother that Daryl had wanted to call her in the days prior to his death whilst he was in crisis and was unable to do so as he did not have any telephone credit.

‘Daryl’s death was the second that week at HMP Winchester and myself and Daryl’s family hope that this inquest will give a clearer picture of what happened at the prison so that lessons can be learned to prevent further deaths.’

The inquest will examine:

n The implementation and adequacy of self-harm and suicide prevention procedures.

n Mental health assessment and provision at HMP Winchester.

n The impact of a delay in administering Mr Hargrave with anti-depressant medication on his arrival at HMP Winchester.

n The safety, adequacy, suitability and location of the cell Mr Hargrave was moved to in the healthcare unit at HMP Winchester on July 18 after he had self-harmed, including the prevention of the use of the door cell-hatch as a ligature point.