Murder Accused Dad Found Dead In Prison Cell
A father charged with the murder of his six-year-old son was found dead in an apparent suicide in his prison cell today. The Home Office said Dafydd Field appeared to have electrocuted himself at HMP Lewes, East Sussex, early this morning.
Field, a teaching assistant, was charged last week with the murder of his son, Jethro, whose body was found at the family home in Farncombe, Surrey.
Results of a post-mortem examination into how Jethro died have not yet been revealed by police, although it is believed he was stabbed.
The Home Office said the cause of Field’s death would have to be investigated but “indications are it was self-inflicted and appears to be electrocution”.
The 52-year-old was not on suicide watch when he died, the Home Office confirmed.
A Prison Service spokesman said: “We can confirm that Dafydd Field was found dead in his cell at HMP Lewes on April 10.
“Staff attempted CPR and paramedics attended but the prisoner was pronounced dead at 6.42am.
“Next of kin have been informed. Every death in custody is a tragedy and, as with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”
Field was remanded in custody to HMP Lewes following a hearing at Dorking Magistrates’ Court on Saturday, and was due to appear at the Old Bailey on July 7.
He had handed himself in to police in Tywyn, Gwynedd, on Wednesday April 4, two hours after Jethro’s body was found in Surrey.
Police said they were called at around 10.30am by a member of the public to the house in George Road, Farncombe, following a domestic incident. Officers found the boy’s body inside.
At around 12.30pm the same day, Field handed himself in to police in Tywyn, and officers from Surrey were sent to Wales to quiz him and escort him back to the South East.
Neighbours in the small commuter town of Farncombe, where Mr Field lived with his wife, Stevie, and Jethro, were stunned at the latest developments.
Cicely Hill, who lives opposite the family, said Field had seemed “a devoted father”, and was devastated to hear of his death.
She said she thought the couple had other children from previous relationships who lived with them at the house in George Road, which now stands empty after the tragic events of last Wednesday.
She said: “I suppose he thought he would have to live with it for the rest of his life.
“I could not understand him doing it in the first place. I didn’t know him that well but I’d seen him with the children and he was great with them.”
A Surrey Police spokeswoman said the force would co-operate fully with the Prison Service investigation, supported by Sussex Police, into what went wrong.
She said: “We would echo the comments of the Prison Service in this matter. Every death in custody has to be investigated. There will be a full investigation into what took place and obviously our investigation will have to be re-examined.”
She said Surrey Police would work hard to support Mr Field’s family through the double tragedy.
She said: “Family liaison officers with the family will be, and have been, doing what they can to comfort them.
“We will do everything we can to support the family at this time.”
A Home Office spokesman said prison officers assessed inmates on a case-by-case basis when they first arrived in jail to decide if they were at particular risk of suicide.