Jury will consider fugitive’s death in cell

Ian McLean

Ian McLean

First published in News

A JURY will be asked to decide how and why a fugitive was found hanging in a Polish prison cell last year.

The inquest into the death of prisoner Ian McLean is expected to take place at Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court at the end of January.

The 44-year-old – who was also known as Ian Mitchell – was found hanged in a prison cell in Koszalin, Poland, in August last year – days after he walked out of an unlocked unit at Littlemore Mental Hospital.

A hearing was held at the court yesterday to prepare for the inquest and Coroner Darren Salter decided at least three witnesses would be called to give evidence.

The pre-inquest review was attended by Neil McLaughlin from Oxford Health NHS Trust and McLean’s mother Mary Henderson and his uncle Billy Mitchell. Mr Salter said: “It is not a wide-ranging public inquiry as such but it is important to understand circumstances and also if there are lessons to be learned for the future.”

He also said issues to be considered at the inquest would include whether or not McLean had intended to die, his detention at the hospital and how he managed to escape.

He said, as the death occurred in custody, a jury panel should make a conclusion from the evidence.

 

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