Reform call as killer found dead in prison

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AN investigation has begun into the death of a convicted killer three days after he was found hanged in his prison cell.

Matthew Stubbs, 36, from Bradford, was found unresponsive in his cell at Leeds prison and was taken to hospital where he later died.

Stubbs was jailed for four years in 2002 after admitting the manslaughter of a 27-year-old man in Allerton, Bradford following an argument over a dog. He was released in 2005.

It is understood he had recently been recalled to prison after allegedly being involved in a burglary.

A spokesman for the Prison Service said Stubbs was found unresponsive in his cell on July 26, taken to hospital but pronounced dead on July 29.

“As with all deaths in custody, the Independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation.”

A police spokesman said: “We received reports on the afternoon of July 26 of a sudden death at HMP Armley and the matter was passed to the coroner.”

An inquest into the death has been opened and adjourned pending further inquiries.

Prison reform campaigners said more work was needed to reduce deaths in custody.

Frances Crook, chief executive of the Howard League for Penal Reform, who sits on the Ministerial Board on Deaths in Custody, said: “For too many people, prison exacerbates their problems – rather than being a place where people can turn their lives around and move away from crime.

“We welcome the fact that a huge effort by staff over the past five years has seen the number of people taking their lives behind bars fall from two a week to one a week.

“This is still too many – these people are someone’s son or daughter, father or mother – 
and more work needs to be done to ensure a spell behind bars doesn’t end up being a death sentence.

“We also have to remember how traumatic a death in prison is for the staff.”