Inquest into the death of Winston Augustine finds that prison failed to fulfil his basic needs


Photo by De an Sum on Unsplash

An inquest into the death of Winston Augustine, who died aged 43 at Wormwood Scrubs in August 2018, has found that multiple failures by the prison service to meet his basic needs directly contributed to his death. Mr Augustine was found hanging in a cell in Wormwood Scrubs segregation unit on 30 August 2018.

The inquest heard evidence that during his time in segregation, Mr Augustine did not receive any food or exercise, was not able to shower or make a phone call, and received only one low dose of his pain relief medication. He was provided with no clothes other than a pair of shorts.

The jury concluded that factors contributing to Winston’s death included a lack of communication, inadequate recording and use of documentation, and no use of escalation procedures.

At the time of his death Winston was in a state of ketoacidosis suggestive of starvation. The jury found that a failure to provide food was a contributing factor to Winston’s death. Following the jury’s conclusion, the coroner stated that it was a matter of ‘greatest concern’ and a ‘violation of Winston’s dignity’ that in an English prison he didn’t receive food for as long as he did.

Anita Davies represented the family in this case, instructed by Tim Lloyd of Matthew Gold Solicitors.

Useful link(s)

Inquest’s press release