A GRIEVING family hope lessons have been learned after their son ‘failed to find help’ before committing suicide whilst an inmate at Bullingdon Prison.

A jury at Oxford Coroner Court found that nothing more could have been done by officers and health care workers at the North Oxfordshire prison to prevent inmate Gareth Edwards' death in December 2015.

But his family say he struggled to overcome a ‘troubled’ life of drink and depression and hope other people in the same position will get more help in future.

Mr Edwards family said: “The death of our son has been the greatest shock to our family and friends. Nothing prepares you for the news that you elder son has died.

“Having lived a troubled life our son died after failing to find help to be free from alcoholism and depression. Trying to get help seems a familiar story and we wish we had the ability to provide an answer, but we do not.

“Our hope now is that he has found the peace he wanted and deserved and that others who may suffer from the same problems will one day soon be more fortunate in finding the help and support they deserve and need.”

At a three-day inquest this week nine people agreed 41-year-old Mr Edwards, from Didcot, took his own life on December, 11, whilst he served a 12 month sentence for attempted burglary.

After more than two hours of deliberation on Wednesday, the jury at Oxford Coroner Court returned a narrative conclusion.

It described how Mr Edwards was found hanging about 8.35am on December 11, 2015, by a prison officer. It confirmed Mr Edwards deliberately killed himself but could not be clear on a time this took place.

Despite the jury’s conclusion Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter also raised concerns for both Bullingdon and new prison health care provider Care UK to help prevent future deaths. At the time of Mr Edwards death the health care was being provided by Virgin Care.

The coroner's concerns included officers following training processes, such as getting a verbal or visual response from prisoners during unlock procedures each morning. As well as correctly logging risk regular prisoner risk assessments on file, both of which were not done in Mr Edwards' case.

Nationally, suicide rates in prisons are the highest they have ever been with 354 commit suicide in 2016, just one of which was at Bullingdon.

The Oxfordshire prison has seen 22 people commit suicide since 2000.

Prison governor Teresa Basford spoke at the inquest and said several improvement have been made since Mr Edwards' death.

This included targets for one risk assessment a month being officially logged for all prisoners.

Staff pressures and shortages were partly to blame for some of the concerns raised and Virgin Care confirmed it is working hard to recruit more staff for its mental health team.

Coroner Mr Salter added: "This inquest can’t change the outcome unfortunately but at the very least from Gareth’s death there can be some closure and hopefully something positive to come from the ongoing monitoring and improvements going forward.”

A spokesman for the family's solicitors SMQ Legal Services said: "We are relieved that the family have obtained some resolution in terms of causation concerning Gareth’s death. It is hoped that the conclusion will lead to fewer deaths in prisons, and that steps will be taken to resolve the concerns held by the Coroner."