5 May 2022

‘Horrendous, inhumane and degrading treatment’ – inquest hears about prisoner death

The governor of one of England’s most violent jails has described the treatment of a 35-year-old prisoner who suffered a drugs overdose and later died as “nothing short of inhumane and degrading”.

An inquest jury today found there were serious and significant failures by prison and health staff at Chelmsford Prison to intervene as David Morgan’s condition worsened.

This programme has obtained exclusive footage of what happened – and we understand that an internal prison inquiry uncovered a “damaging and uncaring” culture among some of its officers.

The Ministry of Justice told Channel 4 News: “The events that led to David Morgan’s death are deeply upsetting and we wholeheartedly apologise to his family and friends. The failings and culture at HMP Chelmsford were unacceptable which is why we are now investing £1.2m to improve safety and security, putting prison officers through extra mental health training and providing extra leadership support to change staff attitudes and increase morale.”

If you’ve been affected by any of the issues raised in this report, channel4.com/support has a range of places to seek help.