Suicide watch teen’s prison death

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The mother of a teenager found hanging while on suicide watch at a West Yorkshire women’s jail believes the prison authorities failed her daughter, an inquest jury heard.

Mahry Rosser, 19, was found hanging by the neck from a bra attached to a hand rail by the toilet in her cell at New Hall jail at Flockton near Wakefield, on April 14, 2011. She was taken to Pinderfields Hospital where she died three day later.

Miss Rosser, who was serving a sentence for robbery, was subject to a close supervision programme in her cell at Holly House, a wing for vulnerable prisoners.

She was on observation watch every 15 minutes due to previous hanging attempts and fire setting in her cell.

The inquest jury heard Miss Rosser had previously placed ligatures around her neck on April 6 and April 20 2011.

Miss Rosser had volunteered to be transferred to New Hall from HMP Peterborough, but was concerned she had not seen in her family from Neath, South Wales, for more than a year.

Her mother Theresa Rosser said in a statement that the prison authorities had not told her about the two previous ligature incidents in April.

West Yorkshire Coroner David Hinchliff asked Mrs Rosser: “You said you feel ‘let down’ by the prison service with the way Mahry was treated and the lack of information you received.

“Had you known how suicidal Mahry was feeling you would have provided some family support for her.

“You said you believed Mahry’s suicidal actions were due to her feeling isolated because she was so far away from home and what you believe was the prison service’s reluctance to accommodate her closer to home.”

Referring to the ligature incidents on April 6 and 20, Mr Hinchliff said: “What I’m going to hear is where Mahry would prepare a ligature, which she would put round her neck almost for everybody to see.”

Mr Hinchliff added: “It looks like to some extent that could be a gesture.”

In March 2011, a psychiatrist examined Miss Rosser at New Hall and diagnosed her as suffering from an emotionally unstable personality disorder.

She was prescribed anti-depressants and was taking the medication.

Proceeding.

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