Jamie Osborne was 19 years old when he tragically took his own life at HMP Lewes in 2016. At the time of his death he was extremely vulnerable and was assessed as at high risk of suicide. Following a previous suicide attempt, professionals concluded he should be transferred to a secure mental health unit but a suitable placement wasn’t found.
The Prison and Probation Ombudsman found that staff did not take account Mr O’s previous history and information about his risk of suicide when he first arrived at HMP Lewes and following his suicide attempt the resulting self-harm prevention measures were not managed full in line with national policy.
In 2019, Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, who provide primary care services at HMP Lewes, pleaded guilty to criminal charges brought against them by the Care and Quality Commission for failing to comply with regulations under the Heath and Social Care Act 2008. The Trust were fined £300,000.00, which was reduced by one third following the Trust pleading guilty. With legal costs and surcharge, the total payment for the Trust was £225,170.00.
The inquest into the death of Mr Osborne was held over 7 days and concluded on 3 March 2020. A jury found that Mr Osborne died by suicide in prison “when he should have been in a hospital”. The jury further found that he was suffering from a psychotic illness that warranted urgent transfer to hospital, Mental Health Act procedures were not followed, and that the support he was offered was “inadequate”.
Farleys pursued a civil claim on behalf of Mr Osborne’s mother against the Trust. A Letter of Claim was forwarded to the Trust which intimated that there has been a breach of Mr Osborne’s Article 2 and Article 3 rights under the European Convention on Human Rights.
Liability was accepted and following negotiations, Farleys secured damages for Mr Osborne’s mother.
The family of Jamie Osborne were represented by Kelly Darlington and her team at Farleys Solicitors.
More information on this case has been detailed in previous articles here: