Marcus McGuire: 'Failings' led to Birmingham inmate's death

Written by on June 17, 2019

A prisoner with a history of mental health issues was let down by a series of failings by prison staff and managers, an inquest jury found.

Marcus McGuire from Coventry died at HMP Birmingham on 24 April last year.

An inquest jury unanimously found he had committed suicide, but said a series of missed opportunities and failures contributed to his death.

His family said he was personally let down by the prison system.

The jury, listed a series of serious failings which they said contributed to his death, including inadequate mental health screening, managers who had not been properly trained and a failure to appreciate the significance of displays of paranoia and aggressive behaviour.

In February 2018, McGuire, 35, was transferred from HMP Oakwood near Featherstone to HMP Birmingham, then run by G4S, having being recalled to prison in October 2017.

Birmingham Coroner’s Court previously heard McGuire had paranoia and depression and believed his food at the jail was being poisoned.

McGuire had been on a programme designed to prevent suicide and self-harm after previously slashing his wrists twice, but was taken off the programme and, on the day he was due to be reassessed, was found dead in his cell with a ligature tied around his neck.

Following the verdict, McGuire’s sister Eileen Hunter said: “Whilst we don’t blame any individual workers in the G4S system, we recognise they were under an awful lot of pressure at that time.

“Some did show some humanity to him but there were clearly opportunities that were missed to take into account Marcus’ current state of mind.”

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