HMP Durham prisoner died from effects of synthetic drug, inquest hears

A County Durham prisoner who slashed open a man’s throat died from the effects of a synthetic drug, an inquest told.

Inmate Daniel Sayers, 36, was among five prisoners who became seriously ill at HMP Durham and had to be taken to hospital for treatment.

While the other inmates recovered, Sayers’ condition worsened and he died at the University Hospital of North Durham (UHND) on June 16 this year.

An opening statement read out in court, it said: “I understand the circumstances to be that Mr Sayers passed away at UHND following admission after being found unconscious in his cell at HMP Durham.

“Prison staff informed doctors that drugs were located secreted within his body when found.”

A postmortem examination carried out at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary gave the cause of death as the effects of synthetic cannabinoids.

His death has been reported to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

Sayers was jailed after being found guilty of grievous bodily harm and possession of an offensive weapon following a trial at Newcastle Crown Court in January last year and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

A court heard that he had sliced open a man’s throat in a savage attack in Sunderland, leaving the victim fighting for his life.

The inquest was adjourned and will continue at a later date.

Chronicle Live – Sunderland