Essex

Dean Saunders inquest: Prisoner told medic he 'wanted to die'

Saunders family
Image caption Dean Saunders' family has criticised the Prison Service for its handling of the case

A prisoner who was found electrocuted in his cell told a medic he wanted to die, a mental health worker said at an inquest.

Dean Saunders, 25, died at HMP Chelmsford, Essex, in January 2016.

He had been arrested after he stabbed his father during a paranoid episode.

Lynn Johnston told the hearing she was aware of Mr Saunders' intentions to take his own life. She said she could not remember if she had shared the information with her colleagues.

Dean Saunders had been charged with attempted murder after the incident involving his father Mark Saunders.

His father previously told the inquest he had walked on to a knife held by his son to prevent his son from harming himself.

Uncertain

Ms Johnston was one of three specialists who assessed Mr Saunders' mental health while in custody.

She told the hearing at the Essex County Coroner's Court, in Chelmsford, that Mr Saunders had told a medic he wanted to die.

The information was written in a report which she had been given when she assessed his mental health.

Ms Johnston told the inquest she "hoped" she had shared the information with her colleagues before his death.

"I would have thought that I would have done, but I can't be certain," she said.

Mr Saunders' family allege a decision not to detain him under the Mental Health Act and to withdraw continuous observation in prison contributed to his death.

The hearing continues.

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