Death through neglect
originally by: Mikey Powell Campaign
published: 11th September 2006
Updates on this case will be listed at the foot of this item
Nineteen year old Anne-Marie was the second of Violet and Ron Brayson’s children to die in a space of less than two years. Following Violet’s son, Robert Bates attempted hanging, hospitalisation and subsequent serious disability, Anne-Marie’s behaviour became increasingly erratic and out of character.
She became pregnant with first child Menitia at 14 years old and was to go on to have two more children, Dylan and Daniel; whom her parents now care for following her death. Violet recounted that Anne-Marie had started smoking cannabis to block out everything that was happening to her family.
She became pregnant and soon after her mother discovered that she was also using heroin and had been supporting her drug use through prostitution. She would stay out of the house to distract herself from al that was going on.
In the summer after her younger brothers death, whilst she was remanded in Brockhill Prison charged with robbery, and just two weeks after giving birth to her third child, Anne-Marie was found hanging in her cell. Her mother and father were informed of her death while they were away on their first holiday in 8 years, and had to rush back to Britain to face yet more grief.
Anne-Marie had alleged that she was beaten up by other inmates whilst in Brockhill Prison. Violet spoke with the assistant governor who assured her that the matter would be investigated; a week later she was called on her visit to family in Gibraltar to be told that her daughter was dead.
HM Prison Brockhill At an inquest in July 2006 the jury criticised the care provided Anne-Marie. Returning a verdict of accidental death the jury concluded her care was “inappropriate” and “inadequate.” The jury concluded that putting Anne-Marie, a juvenile, on the prison’s A-wing, the most difficult wing in the adult part of the jail, was “inappropriate.
“There was inadequate support for Anne-Marie to deal with the bullying on A-wing, this is with particular reference to the final hour of her life, “There is sufficient evidence that there was an inappropriate relationship between a prison officer and an inmate.”We are satisfied this was the driving force behind Anne-Marie’s inappropriate transfer to A-wing” the jury concluded.
During the inquest it was revealed that Anne-Marie had been taken off suicide watch, and the jury recognised that she should not have been taken off suicide watch, and that her state of mind may have been affected by a system of drug withdrawal treatment at the prison.
Speaking after the hearing her father Ron Brayson said he and her mother Violet were pleased with the jury’s verdict. “We always knew Anne-Marie should not have died, wee have been waiting for five years and the inquest vindicates what we have always believed. “We still want to know what will happen to those prison staff who failed Anne-Marie.”
Helen Shaw, co-director of Inquest said, “Following the highly critical verdict and damning evidence heard at the inquest, it is crucial that the Prison Service make a statement about what steps they will be taking to hold to account those staff who failed Anne-Marie.”
Letters: Prison numbers
29 July 2006
Mothers Prison care was ‘inadequate’
25 July 2006
Critical verdict at inquest
25 July 2006