Awards after death in jail

Fundraisers at Bow Street
Fundraisers at Bow Street

The European Court of Human Rights has awarded nearly £8,000 in damages to the mother of an Antrim man who died at Maghaberry prison in March 1996.

James McDonnell, 36, was found unconscious in an isolation cell. An initial autopsy concluded he died from a heart attack. It followed an incident in which he was restrained by prison officers.

The European court awarded damages of £7,896 and costs and expenses of £6,317 were also awarded.

An inquest in May 2013 found there had been a failure in the duty of care towards prisoners in Mr McDonnell’s case.

His death was caused by restraint by prison officers; neck compression; ; an underlying heart condition; and emotional stress.