Investigation Report into the Death In Custody of Martin Harper
Published on June 02 2010
The Prisoner Ombudsman for Northern Ireland today published on her Office website a copy of the Investigation Report into the death in custody of Martin James Harper, a prisoner in Maghaberry Prison, who died on 30th January 2009.
Pauline McCabe said: “Mr Harper died from natural causes, as a result of a brain haemorrhage. My overall findings suggest that Mr Harper was well cared for at Maghaberry and that the prison staff were very responsive when he collapsed.”
As part of the Ombudsman’s investigation, all relevant Prison Service policies and procedures were reviewed and it was found that they had all been complied with. Mrs McCabe has not found it necessary to make any recommendations to the NI Prison Service as a result of her investigation into Mr Harper’s death.
Mrs McCabe added: “I would like to commend the prison officer and nurses who attended to Mr Harper in a considerate and prompt manner when he collapsed and continued to care for him until the ambulance paramedics arrived. Mr Harper was taken to Lagan Valley Hospital, where he died later that day. I have met with Martin’s family and they had no concerns about his treatment.”
Pauline McCabe made a commitment when she took up post in September 2008 to publish all death in custody investigation reports. In line with the Prisoner Ombudsman Terms of Reference, a copy of the Report will also be sent to the Coroner.
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Notes to editors:
The Prisoner Ombudsman terms of reference require her to investigate all deaths in prison custody since September 2005.
The Prisoner Ombudsman made a commitment when she took up post in September 2008 to publish all Death in Custody investigation reports. Copies of all reports published to date can be found at www.niprisonerombudsman.gov.uk/publications.html.
When the Office was given this additional role, no extra resources were provided, however the current Prisoner Ombudsman secured some additional resources in summer 2009 and is currently working through a backlog of investigations.
In line with the Prisoner Ombudsman Terms of Reference a copy of the Report will also be sent to the Coroner.
Investigations are ongoing into a further 10 deaths in prison custody.