THE family of a Bewdley man who hanged himself in prison is calling for lessons to be learned to prevent future deaths in custody.

Shaun Dewey, aged 30, was found dead in his cell while on remand at HMP Bristol on April 13, 2018 after being accused of stabbing a neighbour to death.

The Shuttle reported at the time that police were called to reports of a disturbance in Cherry Close shortly before 11.30pm on September 17, 2017, and arrived to find 45-year-old Andrew Owen in cardiac arrest with knife wounds to his neck and abdomen.

Paying tribute to Mr Owen (pictured below) soon after, his family described him as "a devoted son, father, nephew, cousin and friend who was much loved by many".

Kidderminster Shuttle:

Mr Dewey later appeared at Birmingham Crown Court charged with his murder, and causing grievous bodily harm to a 53-year-old man in connection with the same incident.

But during a short hearing at Worcester Crown Court on July 4, 2018, prosecutor Richard Atkins said there would not be a trial as Mr Dewey had killed himself in custody.

That January, Mr Dewey had been moved to Bristol from HMP Hewell in Worcestershire after being attacked by inmates.

Suicide and self-harm prevention procedures called Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) - which had previously been in place - were withdrawn by HMP Bristol in February.

Now, Mr Dewey's family are calling for lessons to be learned to prevent future deaths. It comes after an inquest, which concluded this week, found there was a failure by prison staff to "act sufficiently" to safeguard the defendant.

Senior coroner Maria Voisin said she would issue a Prevention of Future Deaths report calling on the government to consider the higher risk of suicide among prisoners on remand who are held in jail alongside convicted prisoners.

The inquest jury returned a narrative conclusion that Mr Dewey died as a result of suicide related to “uncoordinated supervision”.

Speaking afterwards, Mr Dewey's family said: "Shaun had never been in prison before and was struggling to manage his depression and anxiety, as well as fearing for his own safety and that of his family.

"We were just trying to get him through to his trial, where he would have argued that he acted in defence of himself and his family.

"Tragically, he could not hold on that long, and saw taking his own life as his only option."

Oliver Carter, a public law and human rights expert at Irwin Mitchell, which is representing Mr Dewey's family, said: "Shaun’s family have had significant concerns about his death and while nothing can make up for what has happened we are pleased that the inquest has thoroughly investigated the circumstances leading up to his death.

"It is clear that the ACCT self-harm and suicide monitoring for Shaun should not have been closed in February 2018, and the jury also found that there were sufficient signs to warrant the opening of another ACCT before his death.

“It is now vital that HMP Bristol and the Prison Service ensure lessons are learned so that the issues seen in this case are not repeated in the future.”

A spokesman for the Prison Service said HMP Bristol had put in place better training for staff since Mr Dewey's death to help them identify, monitor and support vulnerable offenders.