Cambridgeshire

HMP Littlehey had 'chronic' heating and boiler issue

HMP Littlehey Image copyright PA
Image caption HMP Littlehey houses more than 1,000 male sex offenders

The prison where celebrity publicist Max Clifford was held before his death had "chronic problems" with heating and its boiler system, a report has said.

Clifford was held at HMP Littlehey in Cambridgeshire before his death in December 2017 and his family previously raised concerns over conditions.

An inspection in July found over two years the problems "had a negative impact on the living conditions".

HMP Littlehey is refurbishing its heating and hot water system.

The report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons said the jail near Huntingdon, which houses more than 1,000 male sex offenders, was safe and respectful.

But it added: "Over the previous two years, the heating and boiler system had caused chronic problems across the prison and had had a negative impact on the living conditions for prisoners.

"During this time, some prisoners had slept in cold cells and had not always been able to access warm showers daily.

"Contingency plans were in place but many prisoners faced another winter living in cold conditions on the wings."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Max Clifford had been serving an eight-year jail sentence for sex offences

The inquest into the death of Clifford, who was 74 when he died while serving an eight-year sentence for historical sex offences, is taking place this week.

At a pre-inquest review, Clifford's family raised concerns over the conditions, including cold showers.

Assistant coroner for Cambridgeshire Simon Milburn said on Monday he had not seen evidence of this in Clifford's case.

Peter Clarke, HM Chief Inspector of Prisons, said HMP Littlehey "continued to be an overwhelmingly safe prison".

He added: "Despite some criticisms, this report reflects some very good findings and some excellent outcomes for prisoners at Littlehey."

HM Prison and Probation Service director general of prisons Phil Copple said the prison was refurbishing its heating system.

An initial phase of work had meant the prison had hot water and heating while a full replacement of its heating system was completed.

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