Campaigner’s condemn treatment of prisoner


pace-the-prison-celloriginally published: 27th March 2009

The treatment by prison staff of a vulnerable prisoner who committed suicide in his cell was described as “inhumane” and “degrading” by campaigners.

Iraqi-born remand prisoner Mohammed Mudhir, 25, hanged himself in his cell on a segregation unit at Leeds Prison, Armley, in August 2005, after being treated “worse than a dog” by staff. Prison officers and medical staff ignored “clear warning signs” that Mr Mudhir’s mental health had deteriorated significantly in the days before his death, a lawyer for his family said.

Despite CCTV footage showing him drinking water from the toilet, praying continuously and repeatedly pacing his cell, the room’s door was opened just once in an 18-hour period of isolation, when a prison officer spoke to him for less than two minutes.

After a six-week inquest, a jury at Leeds Coroners Court concluded on Wednesday that Mr Mudhir was significantly failed by the prison during his time in custody, as a result of poor communication between staff, inadequate mental health assessments and lack of training.

Deborah Coles, co-director of charity Inquest said: “This man, who quite clearly had very, very serious mental health deterioration in the days leading up to his death, was kept in the most inhumane and degrading circumstances, in segregation.

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