Remand inmate who took own life received ‘satisfactory care’ from prison service, inquest finds

A joiner who took his own life in jail while awaiting trial for killing his partner received “satisfactory care” from the prison service, a jury has found.

Terence Papworth was found hanged in his cell at HMP Leeds (pictured) on November 22 2020.

The 45-year-old was due to go on trial just over a week later for the alleged murder of Amy-Leanne Stringfellow, 26.

Ms Stringfellow died from multiple injuries at Mr Papworth’s home in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, on June 5 that year.

On Wednesday, an inquest jury at Wakefield Coroner’s Court concluded that Mr Papworth’s death was suicide.

They also found that he had received “satisfactory care” from HMP Leeds and Practice Plus Group (PPG), the healthcare provider for the prison.

Mr Papworth’s sister previously told the inquest the family believed her brother, who had previously been treated for depression, should have been on suicide or self-harm watch “all the way through” his period on remand.

Jurors heard he had been on an ACCT (assessment, care in custody and teamwork plan) for around 40% of his time in jail, but was not at the time of his death.

A week before he took his own life, Mr Papworth was assessed by a nurse after he requested to move to a single cell, and told her he had no thoughts of self-harm or suicidal ideation.

Asked by senior coroner Kevin McLoughlin about the possibility of putting inmates facing lengthy sentences on a “precautionary” ACCT, HMP Leeds governor and head of safety Alex Littlewood said it would “overwhelm the system”.

She told the hearing: “There’s so many men in there facing long sentences, some people are more traumatised from a six-month sentence than others would be from a life sentence.

“If we opened an ACCT for everyone facing a long sentence, what we are offering would suffer, I believe, because a lot of work goes into maintaining an ACCT.”

The inquest previously heard Mr Papworth made at least two attempts to take his own life by overdosing during his 23 weeks in prison, and was taken to hospital after an attempt in July.

After his death, another prisoner came forward with around 15 letters that Mr Papworth had written to friends and family, saying Mr Papworth had told him to keep them in the event of his death.

Mr Papworth’s sister, Jacqueline Dunn, said he was “really anxious” about the trial and spoke regularly about wanting to end his life, telling his family “on several occasions” what he wanted for his funeral.

An inquest into the death of Ms Stringfellow last year at Doncaster Coroner’s Court found that she had been unlawfully killed.

Copyright (c) PA Media Ltd. 2022, All Rights Reserved. Picture (c) Anna Gowthorpe / PA.