Prescoed Escapee Found Hanged

A murderer who went missing from an open prison before being recaptured more than two months later has died after he was found hanging in his cell, the Prison Service said today. Lee Dewhurst, 35, from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was found hanging by prison officers at HMP Bristol on Sunday at around 2pm.

Staff attempted to resuscitate him before he was taken to the city’s Southmead Hospital where he was pronounced dead, a Prison Service spokesman said.

A nationwide police hunt was launched for Mr Dewhurst after he failed to return to Prescoed open prison, in south Wales, on July 11. He was eventually arrested in Jersey last month and brought back to Wales by officers from Gwent Police.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “We can confirm the death in custody of Lee Dewhurst. Mr Dewhurst was found hanging in his cell at HMP Bristol at 2pm on October 1, 2006.

“Staff attempted to resuscitate Mr Dewhurst and he was taken to Southmead hospital in Bristol where he was pronounced dead at 3.11pm. The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will investigate the death as with all deaths in custody. Every death in custody is a tragedy and our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Dewhurst.”

Mr Dewhurst was convicted of murder and jailed for life at Liverpool Crown Court in 1992.