Inmate death at HMP Coldingley treated as murder

Prison guard at HMP Coldingley
Image caption Madala Washington was killed at HMP Coldingley in Bisley on Friday

The death of an inmate at HMP Coldingley prison in Surrey is being treated as murder, police have said.

Madala Washington, who was 25 and believed to be from south west London, died at the prison in Bisley after being assaulted at about 13:00 BST.

The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) confirmed the death at the category C jail, which houses about 500 inmates.

Surrey Police said a 23-year-old inmate was arrested on suspicion of murder and is being held in police custody.

A force statement added: "Officers attended the address shortly after 1pm today following reports of a serious assault on an inmate at the prison.

Officers from the Surrey and Sussex Major Crime team are investigating the circumstances of the death.

Image copyright Google
Image caption The category C prison houses about 500 inmates serving a variety of sentences, including life

'Staffing cuts'

In a statement, the MoJ said that as with all custody deaths there would be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

In 2015, a report by Coldingley's Independent Monitoring Board said staffing cuts had led to an increase in illegal drugs and weapons at the prison.

The annual publication also said prisoners were locked in their cells for up to 15 hours a day.

HM Prison Service said in a statement Coldingley had safe and decent staff levels and extra prison officers had been recruited.

The site, which opened in 1969, is a training prison where inmates are considered unlikely to make a determined escape attempt but cannot be trusted in open conditions.

It is currently "focused on the resettlement of prisoners", who are serving a variety of sentence lengths, including life.

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