The long awaited report into the death of Mr Adakite has today been made public by the Independent Advisory Panel (IAP) on Deaths in Custody, highlighting massive failings within the prison service and in particular at HMP Birmingham.

Mr Adakite* was serving a sentence at HMP Birmingham when he was assaulted by another prisoner (Mr Lamproite*). He suffered serious head injuries and spent the rest of his life in hospital. He eventually died over 2 years later from liver problems but there is a suggestion that he was only prevented from undergoing life-saving transplant surgery by the effects of the head injury sustained in this assault.

For the last four years Farleys Solicitors’ specialist Inquest team have represented the family of Mr Adakite and have worked closely with the team conducting an Article 2 Inquiry into his death

The Inquiry was ordered to consider in particular how Mr Adakite came to be alone in the recess area with Mr Lamproite who was known to be a high risk Prisoner with a history of assaulting other inmates. The family of Mr Adakite believed that Mr Lamproite should never have been allowed unsupervised contact with fellow inmates and that it was financial considerations that prevented his segregation. The prison had inadequate staff to properly supervise this dangerous prisoner.

The full report can be found on the IAP website and catalogues innumerable failings which led to the assault. There were various failings to complete appropriate assessments particularly the cell sharing assessment. There was a failure to carry out appropriate risk assessments. There was a failure to give weight to the assailant’s previous assaults on other prisoners and a failure to supervise Mr Lamproite in the recess area.

Jonathan Bridge, representing the family of Mr Adakite said:

In total there are at least 19 failings highlighted within this report. The mother of Mr Adakite still can’t understand how her son, who was recognised to be a vulnerable man, could be left alone with a prisoner known to have a history of violence to fellow inmates. She firmly believes that her son’s death was avoidable and that the assault should never have been allowed to happen.

“The family hope that the Prison Service will ensure that steps are taken to address all the failings highlighted in the report and that other families will not suffer in the same way that they have.”

(*pseudonyms are used to protect the identity of the individuals concerned)