Sussex

Sussex Partnership NHS Trust failed Lewes Prison inmate

Jackie Curtis and Jamie Osborne Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Jamie Osborne's mother Jackie Curtis said his death had torn her apart

A health trust failed to properly care for a suicidal remand prisoner in its care who was found dead in his cell.

Jamie Osborne, 19, had already tried to take his life while on remand in Lewes Prison, magistrates in Brighton heard.

He was moved to its hospital wing run by Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust in November 2015, but he took his life three months later.

The trust admitted failing to provide care and treatment for patients in a safe manner.

Sentencing will take place on 14 June and the court has the power to impose an unlimited fine on the trust.

Bena Brown, prosecuting on behalf of the Care Quality Commission, told the court Mr Osborne was considered "grossly psychotic" and remained "a high risk of suicide" following his transfer to the hospital wing.

She said: "They failed to provide healthcare and as a result Jamie died, and we say this was avoidable."

Image caption Plans to transfer Jamie Osborne from Lewes Prison to hospital were never carried out

The court heard:

  • At no point was Mr Osborne adequately risk-assessed at a jail where the risk of the use of ligatures was considered extreme
  • He was placed in a cell considered high-risk because of the potential to attach ligatures
  • Mr Osborne was not given previously prescribed medication
  • A planned transfer to hospital from prison, where he was becoming "increasingly frustrated at being incarcerated", never took place

Simon Burrows, representing the mental healthcare trust, said it was deeply sorry and acknowledged Mr Osborne "died in circumstances which may have been avoided".

He said Mr Osborne was "primarily a prisoner" and added: "When looking at culpability it is very important that this court recognises that the Ministry of Justice was an active participant in the drama which has been outlined here today."

A statement read out on behalf of Mr Osborne's mother, Jackie Curtis, said: "Knowing I will never speak to him again tears me apart every day."

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