Ministry of Justice expresses “deep regret” for failures of searching and risk assessment leading to brutal murder


Nick Armstrong acted for the wife of Taras Nykolyn who was brutally murdered by other prisoners in a specialist unit in HMP Woodhill in June 2018.  The ferocity of their attack was such that prison officers could not enter the yard for 28 minutes. The jury found extensive failures in searching, risk assessment and contingency planning for such an event. They heard that several key staff had been inexperienced, and just brought to the unit because of shortages across the prison. At the start of the inquest the Ministry of Justice made several admissions of failure. At its conclusion it apologised to the family, to the court, and to the prison officers who had been traumatised by what they had seen. It expressed its “deep regret” at what had occurred.


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