HC Deb 17 March 1993 vol 221 cc245-6W
Mr. Kilfoyle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what inquiries have been made into the death of John Ryan in Winson Green prison in 1987; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Lloyd

Immediately following John Ryan's death in the hospital unit at Birmingham prison in 1987, an inquiry was undertaken by the regional principal medical officer. In addition the senior medical officer at the prison, at the time, sent a report to the coroner.

The inquest verdict was that Mr. Ryan died from electrolyte imbalance due to water depletion and to bronchopneumonia due to lack of care.

Mr. Ryan's family sued the Department and at the Birmingham county court judgment was found against the Home Office. Negotiations are under way about the terms of a settlement with Mr. Ryan's family.

Mr. Ryan's death in custody was a matter of great regret. The inquiries carried out in 1987 resulted in a number of changes in procedures for monitoring prisoners in the hospital unit.

The director of health care services for prisoners is satisfied that the procedures which now operate at Birmingham should prevent the recurrence of such a tragedy.