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Inquiries as Maghaberry inmate dies

By Allan Preston

Published 24/02/2016

Maghaberry Prison where a young man has died while in custody
Maghaberry Prison where a young man has died while in custody

Several probes have been launched after a 24-year-old foreign national man at Maghaberry Prison died while awaiting trial.

He was taken from Maghaberry to hospital on Thursday, February 11 but died on Monday.

The PSNI, Coroner and Prisoner Ombudsman have all launched investigations into the death.

Prison Service Director General Sue McAllister said: "I extend my sympathy and that of the Northern Ireland Prison Service to the family of the prisoner, who has sadly died. This is a tragedy and my thoughts are with them at this difficult time."

No further details about the death have been released.

Last November a report on Maghaberry called the high security Co Antrim jail "a prison in crisis" with "unsafe and unstable" conditions.

The joint report was carried out by the Chief Inspector for Prisons in England and Wales, Nick Hardwick, and the Criminal Justice Inspection of Northern Ireland.

At the time, Mr Hardwick called Maghaberry the most dangerous prison he had ever seen.

He said: "It's not safe for the prisoners' health, it's not safe for the staff who care for them and it's not safe for the communities into which these men will be returned, with very little done to reduce the risk that they will stop offending."

He said it would struggle to meet minimum standards for prisons set by the UN and warned of a risk of "serious disorder or loss of life" if conditions were not improved.

Belfast Telegraph

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