A PRISONER died behind bars just days after being jailed for drink driving, but staff say he presented no signs of being a suicide risk.

Johanathan Rancijh, 39, from Birmingham, was found hanged in a cell at HMP Bullingdon on April 17, 2018.

The Oxford Mail reported on April 13, 2018 that the father-of-three had been jailed for erratic drink-driving on the M40 while four times over the legal alcohol limit.

The first day of evidence in his inquest was held yesterday, under senior coroner for Oxfordshire, Darren Salter.

Witnesses including prison officers and an inmate who shared a cell with Mr Rancijh spoke before the jury.

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It heard that there were two incidents on April 16 involving Mr Rancijh that happened in the prison.

The first involved Mr Rancijh having an anxiety attack in his cell. The prison 'bank paramedic' Daniel Swain – who was on his first shift at the prison - was called to attend to him.

Upon arrival Mr Rancijh was shouting and was ‘confrontational’ towards him, and also showing signs of paranoia, but he quickly calmed down once Mr Swain instructed him to sit down.

They had a conversation while he checked his blood pressure and Mr Swain told the jury he thought Mr Rancijh had been fine when he left the cell.

He said in court: “I didn’t have any concerns that anything further would have happened that night.”

As a result, he did not think it necessary to open an Assessment, Care in Custody and Teamwork (ACCT) document which is set up by any member of staff at the prison who has identified a prisoner as being at risk of suicide or self-harm.

Later that evening, Sean Musson – who shared the same cell with Mr Rancijh – was woken by Mr Rancijh who had a ligature around his neck.

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He told the jury: “I was just dozing off to sleep when he [Mr Rancijh] dropped off the bunk bed. I think it was a cry for help.”

After checking Mr Rancijh was okay, Mr Musson rang the bell and banged on the door to get the duty officer Michelle Rose’s attention.

When Ms Rose came to the cell door, Mr Rancijh was shouting, and she asked Mr Musson to come to the door to speak to her.

At the inquest, Mr Musson could not recall whether he had told her what had happened.

Ms Rose said: “It appeared Johanathan was having some sort of anxiety attack. He kept talking about the window. He was concerned people would come into the cell. The cell mate was concerned he was going to keep him awake. Other than that, I couldn’t see any major issues.”

After consulting custodial manager, Nathan Lewis, Ms Rose offered both inmates an opportunity to move cells, but they decided to stay together.

She recorded the incident in Mr Rancijh’s records and did a final check on the cell where she said Mr Rancijh looked ‘calm and relaxed’, before she finished her shift just after 9pm.

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However, Mr Musson told the coroner there was a further incident in the cell involving Mr Rancijh shouting and spitting at him, so he called for an officer who then took Mr Rancijh away for healthcare.

The jury learned that Mr Rancijh was found hanged in the prison the following day at 7am, but no further details were given about where he was, or the hours before his death. It is expected these details will emerge as the inquest continues this week.

Ms Rose said: “It was very upsetting - it was a shock, I had no inclination he was self-harming in any way at all.”

The officer also did not think it necessary to open an ACCT that night.

She said: “He did not present a risk to himself which is the main reason to open an ACCT.”

Although Mr Rancijh had a history of alcohol problems, there was no record of him having any mental health issues.

A toxicology report showed that he had not consumed any alcohol.

On his first night at Bullingdon on April 15, 2018 - two days before his death - staff spoke of how he was calm.

Officer Daniel Brandon said: “He was smiling and chatty when he was with me.”

Maria Eke, the registered mental health nurse also spoke to him as he entered the prison.

She said: “When he came, he was quite calm and settled. We talked to make him feel relaxed. The only issue was alcohol. I didn’t pick up anything that could concern him.

“I always let inmates that I see know that there’s someone here to talk to."

The inquest continues today.