Inquest opens into man found with false documents at Heathrow Airport
THE inquest into the suicide of a man who was in remand at Wormwood Scrubs prison heard how officers attempted to save him in the moments after they found him hanging.
Olawale Adelusi, 41, who was on remand in the prison after he was found with false documents at Heathrow Airport on October 28 2014, hanged himself in his cell on November 3 2014.
He died 10 days later at St Mary’s Hospital.
On the fifth day of the inquest, the jury heard how confusion followed the discovery of Mr Adelusi, with officers reporting the emergency to the control room using a code system the operator did not understand.
The jury also heard a prisoner had fallen onto the netting that separates the floors at the prison in the moments leading up to Mr Adelusi’s suicide, resulting in all inmates on his floor being locked inside their cells.
Officer Andrew Broadfoot, who was giving evidence at the inquest, told how Mr Adelusi was on a watch that meant he would be checked on three times a day and five times during the night, with all three daytime conversations used to gauge his wellbeing.
He said: “I spoke to Mr Adelusi that morning and had a conversation with him. I asked him if he was okay and that if he had any issues throughout the day to come and talk to me.
“We had a conversation through the door but there wasn’t anything to make me concerned.”
Officer Broadfoot also explained that Officer Matthew Dukes was the person to raise the alarm after he found Mr Adelusi.
He added: “I thought it was a fight originally, but Mr Dukes then shouted ‘staff ’, which means that something has gone wrong and all available staff are needed. I was in the cell but was told to leave and go back to the office, but it was very chaotic outside the cell.”
Another officer who was present on the day also told the inquest how it seemed like a ‘riot’ occurring outside the cell, with a lot of verbal noise, alarm bells and whistles sounding.
Officer Noel O’Neill, who worked in the control room at Wormwood Scrubs, also felt the situation was getting ‘heated’ and he told the jury how he pulled the double alarm as a result of the background noise that he could hear over the radio.
He told the jury: “The double alarm was raised due to the background noise – there was a lot of screaming and shouting and so I took it upon myself to pull the double alarm.”
Officer O’Neill also explained how the control room received a radio message for a ‘code blue’ which was not used by the prison, who used either code one or code two to describe emergencies.
The inquest continues.