Belfast Telegraph

Prison hanging inquest to see CCTV

Security camera footage of checks on a prisoner who hanged himself at Maghaberry is to be shown to an inquest jury.

John Deery, 50, was found in his cell at the high-security Co Antrim prison in August 2009 and died later in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast.

A preliminary inquest hearing in Belfast was told witnesses would include an investigator from the Prison Ombudsman's office, which reported on the performance of staff who were supposed to be monitoring him.

Coroner Jim Kitson said: "The intention is to call the investigating officer from the Ombudsman's office to present the evidence of their investigation."

He said that would include a comparison between video recordings and the timings of checks on the inmate as recorded on official files.

"This is simply an investigating officer detailing the steps that they took and displaying the evidence that they took for the jury to consider in the round," the coroner said.

A lawyer for the Prison Service, Philip Henry, requested more information about the Ombudsman's role.

He said: "If the investigator were to simply play the discs, I cannot really see that there are any issues on that but once they start to stray into comment on the discs, that may be different."


From Belfast Telegraph