Prison officers accused over jail death

Prison officers accused of negligence


Four prison officers have gone on trial after an inmate who was on suicide watch hanged himself.

Michael Bailey, 23, from Birmingham, was found dead at Rye Hill prison hanging by his own shoelaces whilst on suicide watch at the privately-run prison in March 2005.

Daniel Daymond, 23, and Samantha Prime, 29, both of Rugby, and Paul Smith, 39, from Warrington, Cheshire, all deny manslaughter by gross negligence. Ben King, 21, from Daventry, denies perverting the course of justice.

Mr Daymond also denies a second charge of aiding and abetting perverting the course of justice.

The court was told that his mental condition had deteriorated rapidly before his death.

Prosecuting barrister Rachel Brand QC said "He had been showing clear signs of mental disturbance, he was saying things like 'I'm ready to be baptised, get me the chaplain, I'm ready to die"

Mr Bailey was put on suicide watch in a segregation unit where he was meant to be observed by officers six times each hour, the court was told.

Miss Brand said: "The breach of duty by each of these defendants was such a significant breach that it amounted to the crime of manslaughter by gross negligence.

"If they had done their duty fully and properly, as they should have done, then Michael Bailey would not have been in the position to take his life."

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