Prisoner wrote note complaining of feeling ill moments before he mysteriously died

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Liam Lawson, 28, was discovered slumped at his desk in his cell on G wing at Hull Prison on October 28, 2019 – having previously also complained of a racing heart, sweats and felt light-headed

Liam Lawson, 28, was discovered slumped at his desk in his cell on G wing at Hull Prison on October 28, 2019
Liam Lawson, 28, was discovered slumped at his desk in his cell on G wing at Hull Prison on October 28, 2019

A prisoner who wrote a note saying he felt unwell just moments before he was found dead in his cell died of natural causes, an inquest has been found.

Liam Lawson, 28, was discovered slumped at his desk in his cell on G wing at Hull Prison on October 28, 2019 – having previously also complained of a racing heart, sweats and felt light-headed.

Following an inquest, the jury of 12 people decided there was nothing suspicious about Liam’s death and neither was there evidence it was suicide.

The inquest previously heard from forensic pathologist Dr Michael Parsons who conceded he could not say exactly what caused the 28-year-old’s death.

Dr Parsons told the inquest there was no evidence of trauma or any drugs or other substances in his system to explain his death. He concluded the medical cause of death was natural causes but could not say exactly how he died.

He said: “While his death is natural the exact mechanism for that is best described as unascertained.”

Dr Parsons was concerned there may have been some underlying but undetected heart condition and he even took the step of warning Lim’s family to get tested for such a condition but these thankfully proved negative.







Liam worked at Hull Computers & Mobiles before his death in Hull Prison
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Image:

MEN MEDIA/HULL LIVE)

Although the exact medical reason for Liam’s death will never be known the jury decided they were able to return a conclusion of natural causes rather than an open conclusion, Hull Live reports.

Liam had been handed a five-year sentence in May 2019 year for arson with intent to danger life after setting fire to a plastic crate outside his neighbour’s door in Beverley Road on February 2, 2019.

The family of Liam, who were unable to attend the hearing, wrote an emotional tribute which was read out at the inquest.

It said: “Liam was extremely intelligent and loved sports. His humor from him was unique and he made everyone laugh. He also loved nature and would often go out on walks with his nan who he was very close to.

“I have won many awards including in football and karate. He was a black belt in karate by age 11. He was also into technology and built his own computers.

“Liam was kind-hearted, generous and helpful. We miss him enormously every day. He will always be in our hearts.

“We are devastated and there is no greater tragedy than to lose your child. Our lives have changed forever.”

But his family also said Liam seemed tired and under the weather in the weeks before his death and told them he had trouble sleeping after taking on three jobs at the prison but didn’t want to drop them and lose his privileges.







An inquest heard how the Hamlin, who suffered from heart disease, was due to be released just weeks before his death in July 2020
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Image:

MEN MEDIA/HULL LIVE)

Concerns were raised over the non-prescribed painkillers and epilepsy drugs found in Liam’s system. The family’s representative suggested Liam many not have sort medical help for fear he would be disciplined.

The inquest heard that there had been a problem with prescribed medication being sold, given away or stolen among when Liam prisoners was in Hull Prison.

This issue was raised by the Prison Ombudsman in a report following an investigation into Liam’s death. Gary Sword, head of residence and safety, told the inquest major improvements had since been made.

He said: “In 2018-19 there were a total of 511 incidents in prisoners when they were found under the influence of illicit drugs.

“That dropped to 370 in 2019-20, then dropped to 98 in 2020-21 and in 2021-22 it has fallen further to 32.”

Mr Sword also told the inquest there have been improvements made regarding the dispensing and control of prescribed medication.

He said: “Each cell now has a medication safe with the prisoner given a combination number to open it. In some cases the medication is taken by the prisoner while under supervision to ensure it is taken.

“As a result of Liam’s death we now have weekly task meetings regarding misusing prescribed drugs so we can proactively tackle the issue.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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