Inquest blasts prison over Hogg's suicide

A JURY has criticised prison authorities over the death of a convicted killer who took his own life while on suicide watch.
Gavin Hogg, 35, of Wellhouse Lane, Mirfield, used a bed sheet as a ligature in his cell at Armley Jail in Leeds. He died in February 2007.
An inquest lasting three weeks ended at Leeds Coroner’s Court on Wednesday. The hearing had been told how Hogg convicted of stabbing three members of the same family at a haulage firm in Ravensthorpe had spoken of suicide.
His mother Christine Watson told the jury he had only expected a twoyear sentence. Instead he got 20 years.
Mrs Watson described her son as “distraught” as he told her he would only ever see her again on prison visits.
Hogg was put in a special cell and watched. He even made out a new will leaving everything to his mother.
Returning a narrative verdict, the jury said the prison authorities failed to act on warning signals and that was “unacceptable and unsatisfactory”.
Hogg stabbed David Burrows, 36, to death and wounded his father Darrell, 62, and uncle Clive Hoyland, 52, at the family’s M&B Haulage firm in September 2005.
The written verdict said several acts or omissions contributed to Hogg’s death.
It was said the ‘will’ was a ‘letter’ however the jury was in no doubt it was intended as a will and should have been treated as such.
They said prison staff had “insufficient training” to deal with suicide watch prisoners and that led to inadequate recording and checking.
It was “totally unacceptable” for an organisation such as the Prison Service to blame a lack of training, resources or time for management failings.
The jury also found that communication between medical staff and prison officers was lacking; that the failure of Hogg’s appeal was bound to affect his vulnerable state of mind; and that prison staff ignored a recommendation that observations be increased.
After the verdict, Mrs Watson issued a statement through her solicitor Ruth Bundey which said: “I hope this inquest has helped some other parent to hope that their son or daughter will survive in prison.
“I can’t bring Gavin back but I trust other prisoners will be safer as a result of what has been learnt.”

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