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Inquest Reveals Failures in Prison System Following Man’s Death After Drinking Hooch

An inquest has unveiled troubling revelations surrounding the death of Kane Boyce, a man who kicked his girlfriend to death in a Croydon street, only to die in his prison cell after consuming homemade alcohol, known as hooch.

Boyce, who admitted to murdering his girlfriend in 2015, was serving time at HMP Lowdham Grange when he was found unresponsive in his cell on October 3, 2021, during a routine nightly welfare check. The 41-year-old had celebrated his birthday with a drinking session, consuming the potent prison brew, before being discovered with a ligature around his neck.

The inquest heard that Boyce had been ignored by prison staff for over 90 minutes as he rang the cell bell following the drinking session. Despite suspicions of intoxication, staff did not follow prison protocol, leaving Boyce unobserved in a cell without electricity. Additionally, his repeated calls for assistance went unanswered.

An inquest jury concluded that Boyce did not intentionally take his own life and that multiple failures by prison staff likely contributed to his death. Concerns were raised about the dangerous practice of ignoring cell bells, failure to understand the significance of key dates like birthdays, and inadequate responses to intoxicated prisoners.

The report highlighted a ‘blatant cover-up’ by prison management, with ambulance records contradicting the testimony of senior officials. Furthermore, Sodexo, the company responsible for running the prison at the time, declined to acknowledge any failings related to Boyce’s death.

Boyce’s fiancée, Kate, expressed disappointment in the prison’s failure to safeguard his life and criticized the lack of accountability demonstrated by prison officials. INQUEST caseworker Selen Cavcav echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the need for transparency and accountability in the prison system.

The Coroner’s report has called for urgent action to address the systemic failures identified in Boyce’s death, with Sodexo and the Minister for Prisons given until March 13 to respond.

The tragic death of Kane Boyce serves as a stark reminder of the urgent need for reform within the prison system to prevent further loss of life and ensure the safety of all inmates under their care.

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