Home Office accepts liability over young offender who died in prison

The Home Office appears to have finally accepted responsibility for the death of 18-year-old Sarah Campbell in Styal prison in 2003.

It has accepted liability for breaching Sarah’s human rights and agreed to pay her mother Pauline Campbell double the amount of compensation it offered last year, when it claimed Sarah should take equal responsibility for her death.

Pauline Campbell said the original suggestion that her daughter should accept equal responsibility was “morally repugnant”.

Sarah Campbell died after overdosing on prescribed medication while in a segregation unit.

In 2005, an inquest into her death found the prison had failed in its duty of care because of its lack of urgency in formulating care plans and the lack of communication between health care professionals and disciplinary staff.

Pauline Campbell said: “Three years and eight months after Sarah’s death, justice has now finally prevailed.

“However, no-one personally has ever been held to account for what happened at Styal prison on the day Sarah died.”

She criticised John Reid’s plans to introduce 8,000 extra prison places, saying the money should be spent on mental health, drug and alcohol treatment.

Inquest co-director Deborah Coles said it had taken six deaths at Styal before anything was done to protect vulnerable women.

Special report on women in prison



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