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NINTH INMATE IS FOUND DEAD AT PARC PRISON; Teenager was hanging in his cell.

Byline: NICOLA LUDVIGSEN

A TEENAGE remand prisoner has become the ninth inmate to kill himself at a scandal- hit jail, it emerged yesterday.

Home Office officials have been called in after 17-year-old Ian Powell was found hanging in his cell.

The teenager, who was charged with motoring offences, died only two weeks after an eighth suicide at HMP Parc.

Warders at the south Wales jail tried to revive Mr Powell in his young offender's cell.

His death is another embarrassment for jail chiefs who have been dogged by controversy since the prison opened in 1997.

Yesterday a spokeswoman defended the privately-run Bridgend jail's suicide record.

She said: "We have a extremely good regime for dealing with suicidal prisoners.

"This is backed up by the Howard League for Penal Reform. There will be an internal inquiry into Mr Powell's death in line with Home Office procedures.

"This will be overseen by a governor from a different prison."

She added: "Prompt action was taken by prison officers and trained medical staff to revive the prisoner.

"First aid was administered to him but he was later declared dead by a prison doctor." Mr Powell's death on Sunday morning follows that of Sean Richings, 30, who was found hanging in his cell a fortnight ago.

Staff efforts to revive him failed and he died at Prince Phillip Hospital in Bridgend.

His family were at his bedside.

Richings was serving a 17-month sentence for perverting the course of justice and was due for release.

The spokeswoman added: "We are dealing with very vulnerable people and we do have a well-developed policy to deal with suicidal prisoners.

"It's not always possible to be aware of suicidal thoughts in prisoners who keep themselves to themselves.

"All our staff are highly trained and some of the inmates have undergone sessions with the Samaritans.

"They also have special periods with our own chaplain and our fully trained listeners.

"Every suicide is a tragedy and we offer our condolences to all the prisoners' families."

n.ludvigsen@mirror.co.uk

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OUR STORY: Eighth death at Parc Prison
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 8, 2002
Words:348
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