Cambridgeshire

Annabella Landsberg: HMP Peterborough inmate's death 'shocking'

Annabella Landsberg Image copyright Landsberg family
Image caption Annabella Landsberg died after spending several weeks in segregation at HMP Peterborough

The events leading to the death of a prisoner after she was restrained and left on the floor for 21 hours were "truly shocking", a report has said.

HMP Peterborough staff thought Annabella Landsberg was "play-acting" when she stayed on her cell floor after being restrained on 2 September 2017.

However, when examined the next day the 45-year-old was found to be seriously unwell and later died in hospital.

An inquest jury has found a series of failings contributed to her death.

Jurors in Huntingdon concluded there were failings on the part of the prison, healthcare staff, GPs and custody officers.

Ms Landsberg's sister, Sandra, said: "It was very distressing to learn that my sister was left on her cell floor for so long when she was so unwell, repeatedly considered to be 'faking it'.

"My sister will not come back but no other family should have to go through this.

"Prisoners should be properly supported and looked after."

Image copyright Landsberg family
Image caption Annabella Landsberg moved to the UK from her native Zimbabwe

Ms Landsberg, who was in the prison's segregation unit, had Type 2 diabetes and the inquest heard prison officer Amy Moore had asked her to stand for her medication on 2 September.

But after she grabbed Ms Moore's leg, the mother-of-three - who was serving four years for offences committed under a suspended sentence - was physically restrained by staff at about 18:00 GMT.

The incident was not filmed because an officer had removed her body-worn camera, which the Prison and Probation Ombudsman criticised, adding it meant "the opportunity to capture potentially crucial evidence about the use of force was lost".

Ms Landsberg, from Worthing, West Sussex, remained on the floor throughout the night, ate neither her breakfast nor her lunch and later appeared to have wet herself.

Image caption Annabella Landsberg was serving a four-year sentence at HMP Peterborough

A nurse attended Ms Landsberg three times, on the final occasion telling her to "stop messing around" and then threw some water on her to provoke a reaction.

A clinical reviewer "particularly criticised" this final check, and said the nurse was apparently concerned she might be at risk of assault from Ms Landsberg, even though she had no history of violence.

When a second nurse attended, the inquest heard she "quite quickly" realised the prisoner was in "a bad way" and an ambulance was called.

Ms Landsberg, from Zimbabwe, died on 6 September 2017 from complications of hyperosmoler hyperglcaemic syndrome and rhabdomyolysison arising from her diabetes .

In a narrative conclusion, the jury found a lack of awareness of her diabetic status as a result of "inadequate checks", repeated failings to recognise the severity of the situation from diabetic symptoms and a failure to provide any medical observations after she was restrained, had probably contributed to her death.

Damian Evans, director at HMP Peterborough, said the prison was "very sorry" for care Ms Landsberg received.

Mr Evans said: "Since Annabella's death we have undertaken a thorough review of the delivery of healthcare services at HMP Peterborough and accepted all the recommendations from the initial Prison and Probation Ombudsman's report into her death.

"This has led to many changes and improvements being made."

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