Prisoner died after suffering heart attack

Lawrence Court, in Huntingdon. Picture: Steve Williams.

Lawrence Court, in Huntingdon. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

A prisoner who was found dead in his cell at HMP Littlehey had suffered a heart attack, an inquest heard.

David Wood was serving time at the prison in Perry when he died on February 8, as a result of a blood clot in his heart.

An inquest into the death, held at Lawrence Court, in Huntingdon, on September 6, heard that Mr Wood hadn’t complained of feeling unwell on the morning of his death.

In a statement, prison officer, Mandeep Palmer, said: “At 11.30am I went to unlock the prisoners for lunch and I just had a feeling he didn’t look right – he looked a bit pale and was laying in a slumped position.”

Although Ms Palmer had her radio on her she decided to run to the guard’s office for help as the radio line to communication was busy.


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Fellow officer Derek Kent sprung into action to help and retrieved the defibrillator while the emergency response team arrived and CPR was started.

Despite their efforts, the 55-year-old was pronounced dead at 12.23pm.

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A post mortem, carried out by Dr Martin Goddard, concluded that Mr Wood died of coronary artery thrombosis, and atherosclerosis as a result of a heart attack.

The court also heard that Mr Wood had a history of diabetes and chest pain and received treatment for both.

Following the 55-year-old’s death, an investigation was conducted by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

Carol Dudley, from the ombudsman, said: “The care that Mr Wood received in the prison was equal to that he would have received in the community.”

Senior coroner for Cambridgeshire, David Heming, concluded that Mr Wood died of natural causes

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