Mum's devastation as Leeds teenager dies after 'inhuman and degrading treatment' in prison

There were serious failures in the care given to Leeds teenager Jordan Bullock while he was at HMP Doncaster, a jury inquest found.
There were serious failures in the care given to Leeds teenager Jordan Bullock while he was at HMP Doncaster, a jury inquest found.

The mum of a Leeds teenager who died in prison says she believes her son would still be alive if he had received the care he needed sooner.

Jordan Hullock, 19, was on remand at HMP Doncaster when he died in June 2015 as a result of developing bacterial meningitis and pneumonia alongside his existing heart condition.

Jordan Bullock was described by family as funny, daft and caring.

Jordan Bullock was described by family as funny, daft and caring.

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A jury inquest, which concluded yesterday, found his death was by natural causes but there were serious failures and shortcomings in the days leading up to his death.

Jordan’s mum, Marie Hullock, said: “We cannot believe the inhuman and degrading treatment he received while in Doncaster prison.

“Four years on we are still devastated and angry that we have lost our loving son. We have persisted with this battle to try to get some answers and justice, not only for Jordan losing his life, but for the days and days of suffering he endured.”

Jordan was being held on remand at HMP Doncaster in the days leading up to his death.

Jordan was being held on remand at HMP Doncaster in the days leading up to his death.

Events leading to Jordan's death

The inquest at Doncaster Coroner’s Court heard Jordan - described by his family as funny and daft, with a caring nature - had not been in prison before.

He was remanded to HMP Doncaster on June 1, 2015 and soon began complaining of feeling unwell.

From June 12, he developed headaches and was unable to get out of bed, eat or drink without his cellmate’s help.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust had been appointed to provide healthcare at HMP Doncaster at the time of Jordan's death.

Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust had been appointed to provide healthcare at HMP Doncaster at the time of Jordan's death.

Despite concerns from prisoners and prison staff, no action was taken by healthcare staff as Jordan's condition deteriorated to the point where he was verbally unresponsive, collapsed or became incontinent.

Healthcare staff refused to treat him until his cell was cleaned after he became incontinent on June 23, meaning he was left in the contaminated cell for at least 10 hours.

Jordan was found incontinent for a second time in his cell after he collapsed on June 24. A nurse escalated concerns and he was finally seen by a GP at 2.45pm.

He was urgently transferred to hospital but Jordan's family was only notified the next day when he was in an induced coma. He died six days later on June 30.

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"We were denied chance to say goodbye"

Ms Hullock, who lives in Morley, said: “Not being informed of our child’s admission to hospital denied us of the chance to say goodbye.

“We understand the staff may have had high workloads, but we truly feel many had an uncaring nature towards Jordan, as I assume they do towards all prisoners. Those who failed him so terribly should not be allowed to nurse again."

Thanking the "very few people" who tried to help her son, she added: "Even if it cannot be proven, we 100 per cent believe that Jordan would still be with us now if he had received the care he needed sooner.”

In a narrative finding, the jury said further steps ought to have been taken by prison healthcare staff and prison officers to try to ensure that Jordan was seen earlier by a GP.

They said: “The facts show serious failures in the medical attention given to the deceased following his collapse on June 23 and prior to being seen by the doctor on June 24, 2015.”

It was noted that Nottinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust, which had been appointed by NHS England to provide healthcare at the privately-run prison at the time, admitted “shortcomings in the standard of physical healthcare provided” to Jordan between June 17 and June 23, 2015.

But the jury added the evidence did not sufficiently allow them to determine whether the shortcomings in care and serious failures had contributed to Jordan’s death.

What the healthcare trust says

Speaking on behalf of the NHS trust, executive director of forensic services Peter Wright said: “Our thoughts are with Jordan’s family. They have experienced a terrible loss and have had to wait until now to for the conclusion of the inquest.

"I have been able to offer my personal condolences for their loss and my unreserved apology for the failings that were identified during the inquest. There were shortcomings in the standards of physical healthcare we provided to Jordan, in particular, physical observations were not completed and Jordan’s illness was not appropriately responded to.

"This will not change anything for Jordan’s family. But we hope to respond to Jordan’s death by continuing to change and improve the way we do things.

"We no longer provide healthcare in HMP Doncaster but we will take this learning and make sure it is applied in our other prison healthcare services. We would hope to discuss these actions with Jordan’s family if they felt able to be involved.”

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Jordan was "dehumanised and ignored"

The charity INQUEST, which provides expertise on state related deaths and their investigation has been working with Jordan’s family since July 2018.

Its director, Deborah Coles, said Jordan had been “dehumanised and ignored” and his death should have been prevented.

Ruth Bundey, of Harrison Bundey solicitors who represent the family, said: “The image of Jordan, left motionless over days in his cell behind a locked door, unable to reach his bell or water tap, and gradually losing the power of speech, is like something out of the dark ages.

“There can be no excuses for the lack of care afforded to him and the neglect of his needs.”

Jordan’s death was previously investigated by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

Deputy Ombudsman Elizabeth Moody described the case as “sad and disturbing”, saying it was "unacceptable that any prisoner, and particularly a vulnerable young man, should have been treated in such an uncaring manner."