Nurse found prisoner hanging in cell during his first night in Durham Prison

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A MENTAL health nurse told an inquest of the moment she found a prisoner hanged in his cell.

Nurse Kay Cooper, who works in Durham Prison’s healthcare centre, said she went to check on Kirk Duboise who was spending his first night in custody.

“I had looked at his induction record,” said Nurse Cooper. “He had told a doctor he was drinking daily, but another part of the forms indicated he was not drinking much at all.

“It just didn’t add up and I needed to know if he might suffer from alcohol withdrawal, so I went to speak to him.

“As I arrived at the cell I saw the shadow of a man suspended from his top bunk.

“I switched on the light from the outside to clarify it, and then put out an emergency call for all staff to attend.”

The inquest at the Coroner’s Court in Crook heard earlier only a prison officer can unlock a cell door during the night.

Prison officer Tony Dixon said he heard the radio call, but also heard the commotion because he was only a few feet away at the time.

Officer Dixon said he opened the cell next to Mr Duboise by mistake.

“By the time I opened Mr Duboise’s cell the nurses had returned with the emergency resuscitation equipment,” Officer Dixon told the jury.

“It all happened in a few seconds.

“On entering the cell I saw Mr Duboise suspended by a ligature from the top bar of the bunk bed.

“I cut the ligature using my anti-ligature knife.”

The inquest heard Officer Dixon and colleagues moved Mr Duboise onto the floor of the cell to enable the nurses to attempt to resuscitate him.

Nurse Cooper said: “He was still warm.

“When the paramedics arrived they commented we had done well to get some colour back into him. In total I think we tried for about 45 minutes.”

Mr Duboise, 22, of Tees Street, Horden, died at about 9.30pm on February 13.

The hearing continues.