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Man who died at HMP Highpoint had sought help from mental health team, inquest hears

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HMP Highpoint Prison, off the A143 near Stradishall. ENGANL00120120808123834
HMP Highpoint Prison, off the A143 near Stradishall. ENGANL00120120808123834

A man who died at a Suffolk prison had sought help from the mental health team less than a month before his death, an inquest has heard.

Callum Brown, 25, was found hanged in his cell at HMP Highpoint on Monday, April 8, 2013.

Mr Brown, originally from Romford, was serving a three-year sentence and had been moved to the prison near Stradishall from HMP Wormwood Scrubs in 2012.

Today, an inquest into his death opened in Bury St Edmunds with a statement from his mother, Helen Carey.

In her statement she said that on March 18, 2013, Mr Brown had written to request a meeting with someone from the prison’s mental health team as there were some issues he wanted to discuss regarding his release, due in August that year.

Despite this recent letter and the fact that Mr Brown had previously sought help from the mental health team, he was discharged from the department’s case load on March 21.

Ms Carey said she thought her son, who had experienced ‘behavioural problems’ throughout his adolescence, may have been suffering from bipolar disorder, although this was never diagnosed.

She added that no one had told her that her son was ‘struggling to cope with his life inside prison’.

The inquest jury heard that Mr Brown had previously tried to kill himself while in prison and had been on an ‘act’ plan, for prisoners at risk of self-harm or suicide.

He was discovered in his cell at around 8.30am on April 8, when the cells were opened after being closed since around 4.45pm the previous evening.

The inquest heard that the operational support grade on duty that night claimed his last check of the cells had been at 6.45am and he had not reported anything out of the ordinary.

However, when crime scene investigators reviewed the CCTV footage from Mr Brown’s cell block, it revealed no checks had been undertaken since 8.40pm on the evening before Mr Brown’s death.

He was discovered by fellow inmates, who raised the alarm with the on-duty prison officers. Paramedics attended the scene, but pronounced Mr Brown dead just before 9am.

The inquest continues and is due to conclude on February 5.