Payout for family after Northampton man took his own life in prison

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Relatives of a Northampton man who hanged himself at Woodhill prison after his telelvision was stolen by inmates have been paid £17,500 in damages.

Ian Brown, 44, had mental health problems and was found dead in his cell in July 2015.

He was one of 19 men who took their own lives at the jail over a five year period.

Ian’s 82-year-old mum Pearl Scarfe and his sister Julie Barber sued the prison governor and the Ministry of Justice under human rights legislation that protects the right to life.

The pair had previously failed in their bid for a judicial review to force the Milton Keynes prison to comply with national prison standards on preventing suicides.

Afterwards, they concentrated on their case for damages and last week the High Court agreed the settlement, which will be paid by the government.

Mrs Scarfe says she will use some of the money for her own funeral costs to enable her to be laid to rest beside her son.

Mr Brown suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and depression and had threatened to take his own life weeks before he died. He had complained to officers that he was being bullied over tobacco debts.

On the morning of July 19 2015 he told officers two other prisoners had taken his prison-issue TV from his cell.

Officers said they would resolve the issue later. But at 1.10pm Mr Brown was found hanged.