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Coroner expresses concerns following death in custody case

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A young offenders’ institution has been heavily criticised for failing to identify the risks to a teenage remand prisoner, who hanged himself last year.

Lester Morrill represented the family of Greg Revell, an 18-year-old who died at HMP Glen Parva on the 11th of June, 2014.

Last week, the inquest into his death concluded that Mr Revell, who had already attempted to take his life three months earlier, had committed suicide while in custody.

Jurors found that the Leicestershire-based prison had failed to appropriately understand or assess Greg’s needs, risks or vulnerabilities.

Lydia Brown, Assistant Coroner for Leicester and South Leicestershire, added that it could not be right that a young man, in custody for the first time, could walk around with a livid, undisguisable ligature mark on his neck and not be placed on closer monitoring. Concerns were also raised about relying on the postal service to deliver notes from Mr Revell’s GP.

The Coroner confirmed that she would be producing a ‘Report to Prevent Future Deaths’ in light of the evidence heard by the inquest, and that this would be copied to the Harris Review, an independent review into self-inflicted deaths in custody of young people.

Following the verdict, mother Karen said: “We are absolutely devastated by the lack of care and treatment for Greg.

“He was a vulnerable young man, but not one member of staff took the time to assess his vulnerabilities fully.”

Glen Parva was branded “unsafe” by HM Inspectorate of Prisons last August, amid concerns about bullying, self-harm and suicides.

The prison is now looking to increase the number of “safe cells” for vulnerable inmates and said that staff had been given additional training.

A prison service spokeswoman added: “Every death in custody is a tragedy which is why reducing the number of self-inflicted deaths is a priority.

“We will carefully consider the findings of the inquest to see what further lessons can be learned in addition to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s investigation.”