Sex offender dies at HMP Leeds while serving 10 year prison sentence

A sex offender died at HMP Leeds after suffering a variety of health problems.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 11:05 am
Updated Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 11:08 am

Matthew Laffan was remanded in custody for sexual offences in September 2018 and was later sentenced to ten years and nine months in prison, according to a Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) report following his death.

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Mr Laffan, who was 95 at the time of his death, was the 17th prisoner to die at Leeds since February 2019.

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HMP Leeds.

Mr Laffan was sent to HMP Moorland, near Doncaster, to serve his sentence.

Mr Laffan was diagnosed with blood cancer in 2018.

In August 2020, Mr Laffan was admitted to hospital with Covid and pneumonia.

In October, he was discharged from hospital but could not return to Moorland because he needed 24-hour healthcare, which they could not provide.

Mr Laffan was then sent to HMP Leeds in Armley, where he was put on a social care unit where he could access the necessary healthcare.

Over the next few months, Mr Laffan was admitted to hospital on several occasions where he was treated for a chest infection and sepsis.

In November, hospital staff discussed a 'do not attempt cardiopulmonary resuscitation' order with Mr Laffan, who agreed that if he stopped breathing he did not want to be resuscitated.

He was escorted to hospital every two weeks for blood transfusions.

In January of this year, at a routine hospital appointment, Mr Laffan’s blood test came back as abnormal.

He was admitted to hospital where he was treated for sepsis and returned to HMP later that month.

In February, a nurse noted that Mr Laffan’s health had deteriorated and he appeared frail and weak.

He was nursed in bed as he refused to get out of bed.

On 9 February at 5.10am, healthcare staff went to Mr Laffan’s cell and found that he was not breathing and had no signs of life.

There was no doctor in the prison to verify Mr Laffan’s death, so a paramedic was called.

The paramedic arrived at the prison and confirmed that Mr Laffan had died.

There was no post-mortem examination as the coroner accepted the cause of death provided by a prison GP.

The GP gave the cause of death as myelodysplastic syndrome (blood cancer).

The NHS England reviewer concluded that the clinical care Mr Laffan received at Leeds was of a good standard and equivalent to that which he could have expected to receive in the community.

She made no recommendations.

The PPO did not find any non-clinical issues of concern and made no recommendations.

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