Authorities backed following death of man in Ashton

PRISON and probation staff have been told they could not have done any more to assist a Tameside man who died three days after his release from jail.

Stephen Skinner was let out of Forest Bank, in Salford, on January 17 last year after serving a sentence for theft.

But on January 20, he was found dead at a friend’s house in Ashton-under-Lyne after taking an overdose.

Toxicology tests showed the 44-year-old had taken heroin, anti-convulsant drug pregabalin, cocaine, methadone, alprazolam, clonazepam, diazepam and paracetamol.

His blood contained potentially fatal levels of morphine, pregabalin and methadone and an inquest concluded his death was drug related.

Now an investigation by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman has found staff could do anything more to assist Mr Skinner, who lived at Sands Walk in Hyde.

The report found that after co-operating with teams inside Forest Bank, where he went after being handed a 12-week jail term, he insisted on living at his friend’s address, even though it was not deemed to be suitable.

It also told how on January 10, he was not willing to explore release coping strategies with a medical administrator.

She discussed harm reduction, including lowered tolerance levels and told him that if he did go back to using illicit drugs to make sure that he used small amounts, that he did not mix drugs, and that he did not inject drugs.

It also found that at separate times, he said that he committed crime to fund his drug habit and used crack cocaine and heroin daily in the community – three bags of heroin a day and five of crack cocaine.

According to the report: “At about 9am on January 20, paramedics went to Mr Skinner’s friend’s address after he found him unresponsive, cold and with blue lips.

“At 9.41am, the paramedics confirmed that Mr Skinner had died.”

In summing up whether there was anything more that could have been done, it added: “We did not find any issues of concern with the services provided by HMP Forest Bank or the Probation service

“Mr Skinner was clearly intent on returning to live with his friend, despite the address being unsuitable and not approved.

“We do not think that staff could have done any more to ensure that Mr Skinner had somewhere safe to stay on release.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *