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Jury raises ‘systematic failures’ as prison officer is cleared over suicide death

The panel issued a written statement claiming staff had not been given enough information about the inmate’s background.

Jurors have criticised “appalling systematic failures” at a prison as they cleared an officer over the death of a suicidal inmate.

Joseph Travers, 55, was accused of breaching his duty of care by failing to remove a noose from Ryan Harvey’s cell and to prevent his death.

He was the night orderly manager at HMP Woodhill near Milton Keynes when the 23-year-old hanged himself on May 3 2015.

The defendant, who has been a prison officer for 25 years, was found not guilty of manslaughter following a trial.

The jury took 46 minutes to reach its verdict at the Old Bailey.

In an unusual move, jurors also included a written statement saying: “We would like to record our view that the case has thrown up a number of appalling systematic failures to provide frontline staff with sufficient information as to the inmate’s background.”

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