Man died in HMP Nottingham with ‘mamba’ in system

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The coroner said the inquest would look at where Mr King got his supplies and how prison officers dealt with people suspected of having taken the illegal substances

The Prisons’ Ombudsman is being urged to complete enquiries into the jail death of a man believed to have taken drugs.

The organisation’s findings will be put to a jury which will consider the last hours of Edward King, 54, who was being held in Nottingham Prison.

Assistant Coroner Stephanie Haskey said information had been sent to the Prison and Probation Ombudsman but its report is still awaited on the inmate, who died in February.

A five-day inquest at Nottingham Council House is due to start around the first anniversary of his death.

Miss Haskey told a preliminary hearing: “It is always very hard for a bereaved family to face the prospect of a further delay.”

The hearing was told the jury might be given details of the “the toxic effects of synthetic cannabinoids,” a term for drugs usually known on the streets as mamba. This was traced in his bloodstream.

But Mr King had problems with his coronary arteries and the cause of Mr King’s death would be a factor at the inquest. He also suffered from back trouble.

Nick Flanagan, who represents the prison, said there was evidence that Mr King was a “persistent and regular user of cannabinoids.

“A prison officer had seen Mr King and thought he was extremely intoxicated. Two or three times a month he was observed to be extremely intoxicated,” said Mr Flanagan.

The coroner said the inquest would look at where Mr King got his supplies and how prison officers dealt with people suspected of having taken the illegal substances.

Mr King’s prison database amounted to 500 pages. Details are also expected to be made available about telephone calls he made in the days leading up to his death.

The prison has carried out an internal investigation and further evidence likely to be given by the Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust.

CCTV footage is available from the prison but the coroner ruled that this would not be shown at the inquest. Jurors will hear a summary compiled by a police officer who has studied the film.

Mr King’s death was one of five at the prison recently. All are likely to be the subject of inquests held in front of juries.

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