Prisoner found hanged in jail cell
A prisoner found hanged in his cell was the sixth suicide in 18 months at jails in Northern Ireland.
Staff at the top security Maghaberry Prison near Lisburn, tried to revive Niall Oliver Leonard, 37, from Lisnaskea, Fermanagh, when they discovered him in a collapsed state at 2am,
Police and the Prisoner Ombudsman Pauline McCabe were notified and an inquest will be held later.
Mr Leonard, a widowed father-of-two, had been serving a three-month jail term for drink-driving charges after police stopped his Volkswagen car not far from his home in January. At the time he had been banned from driving.
The new Northern Ireland Prison Service director general Sue McAllister, who took up the job last week, said: “I would like to extend my sympathy to the family. This is a tragedy and my thoughts are with them at this difficult time.”
Responding to the death of Niall Leonard in Maghaberry overnight, Michelle Gildernew MP said: “My thoughts and prayers are with Niall’s family today, his children in particular.
“This is a terrible tragedy which must be fully investigated.
“The circumstances surrounding this young man’s incarceration and his ability to cope with a custodial sentence must be a concern to us as a society.
“Too many people end up in the justice system as a result of other factors, yet once again a family mourn the loss of a son and father who can never be replaced.”
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Weather for Dungannon
Saturday 18 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 11 C
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