Advising with empathy and experience

HMP Bullingdon failings 'high likely' to have caused prisoner death


Multiple failings within a prison could have contributed to a man killing himself hours after arriving there, an inquest found.

Prisoner Justin Still, 39, was found dead in his cell at HMP Bullingdon near Bicester, Oxfordshire, on 6 April 2019.

An inquest found it was "highly likely" he obtained a blade from within the prison and "numerous" opportunities to assess his mental state were missed.

Still, from Bracknell, Berkshire, was remanded in custody at Reading Magistrates' Court before an appearance at Reading Crown Court charged with one count of causing grievous bodily harm.

A jury at Oxford Coroner's Court found he had been searched more than once at the prison and so it was "highly unlikely" he could have brought the blade from outside.

It said there were several "errors and omissions" from multiple staff. Paperwork had not been completed properly, welfare checks were insufficient and there were several "missed opportunities" to assess Still's mental state.

He suffered from alcoholism and mental health problems, including post-traumatic stress disorder and mixed-personality disorder.

The jury also found "inadequate staffing levels" and a "high proportion of new or inexperienced staff" contributed to a "lack of accountability and a poor understanding of roles and responsibilities" at the prison.

Justin Sill’s death at the prison came just weeks after another prisoner killed himself.

HMP Bullingdon staff were also criticised at the inquest of David Gray who also had mental health problems and was found dead in the prison's healthcare unit on 17 March 2019.