A prison inmate who was found dead in his cell had feared he was going to lose contact with his young daughter, an inquest has been told.
Oliver Nicholas John Owen Jones, also known as Oliver Huxter, had been in Swansea prison since February 2014 following an incident of domestic violence in which he had assaulted his partner Jessica Mullins at her hometown of Milford Haven where he had moved to be with her.
The 26-year-old died at Swansea Prison on March 11 of that year.
The opening day of the inquest, held at Swansea Civic Centre, had heard that Mr Jones had been ‘alcohol dependent’ but had stopped drinking after moving from Barry to be closer to his partner and was training to become a chef.
But he had begun drinking again over the Christmas period of 2013, during which he became "very aggressive", leading to the assault.
He arrived at Swansea Prison on February 19, 2014, where he told staff he wanted to "take my own life by any means necessary".
A statement by Dermot Dooley, a family engagement worker for the Prison Advice and Care Trust, was read to the inquest on its second day.
In it, Mr Dooley had said Mr Jones had seen very tearful on the day he was inducted into the prison, and that Mr Jones had told him his daughter was 13 weeks old.
He added: “He was not sure what contact he would get [with her]. It was a very new and disconcerting experience for him."
Mr Dooley said Mr Jones was keen to get a place on the prison baby group to enable him to spend some time with his daughter, and that when he saw him a few days later he was "significantly better".
“His main concern was he would not be able to see his baby but he was of the view that his partner would be prepared to bring the baby to baby group,” he said.
“He was not sure, but he had spoken to his partner. It was his first child and he was very keen to play some active part [with parenting]."
He added when he learned that Mr Jones had taken his life "I was surprised because the last contact I had with him he was much more positive".
Prison officer Dean Williams also gave evidence to the inquest, in which he revealed he had undertaken Mr Jones’ first case review on February 20, and described the inmate as "very down".
He noted a number of other concerns over Mr Jones’ mental health, his medication and his detoxing. The inquest was told that Mr Jones had been drinking between six to nine litres of cider daily.
Mr Williams assigned Mr Jones to a "safer cell" designed to make suicide or self-harm as difficult as possible.
Kirsten Heaven, representing Miss Mullins and the couple’s daughter, questioned Mr Williams about Mr Jones’ care map, designed to lead his care in prison.
Miss Heaven said one of the triggers of Oliver’s distress was losing contact with his daughter, "the most fundamental one", and questioned why it had not be included on the inside the front cover of the care plan at that stage where it could be easily checked by colleagues.
Mr Williams said he was focusing on "achievable" goals, and added: “My main concern was to put him in a safer cell....I dealt with the immediate risk.
“I was dealing with immediate factors at the time. I was presenting someone who was going on about medication, mental health, and someone who says they want to be dead, so that is where I am going to go."
The inquest had been told earlier that the ACT procedure had been opened by staff, to support and manage prisoners at risk of self-harm and suicide, but it had been stopped by February 28, 2014, because prison staff were satisfied that the risk of suicide has reduced.
Mr Jones had been prescribed diazepam to help with his alcohol withdrawal, as well as anti depressant mirtazapine.
Addressing substance misuse nurse Rebecca Mause, Miss Heaven argued there was "no case for closing ACT" because "you are dealing with someone very changeable".
She added: “They are very responsive to the smallest factor, like a bad phone call. Being locked up can make them quick to respond to those factors. When they are on ACT and you see improvement that can give an indication of their mental state.
Ms Mause replied: “Possibly, but it could be to do with detoxing”.
She added that on February 22, Mr Jones "seemed more settled" and with his medication appeared to be "coping well with his detox".
Mr Jones was found hanged in his cell on March 11 and attempts to save him were unsuccessful.
The inquest continues.
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