A HAMPSHIRE man found hanging in his prison cell had asked a staff member about methods for taking his own life days before his death.

Father-of-two Sean Plumstead was in custody at HMP Winchester and was due to be released less than a month later when he was discovered unconscious by his cellmate.

The 27-year-old was rushed to Royal Hampshire County Hospital but he died three days later later on September 18 last year.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard that Mr Plumstead, a former chef, had not been identified as at risk of suicide or self-harm by the prison and had no history of depression.

But two days before the incident, he had asked a prison store keeper about suicide methods, and had also told his mother while intoxicated that he wished he was dead.

Pathologist Dr Russell Delaney said Mr Plumstead died from brain damage due to a lack of oxygen following a cardiac arrest.

Speaking about cuts on Mr Plumstead’s neck, he added: “They are features that support self-infliction and there’s no medical evidence to support the involvement of anyone else.”

Mr Plumstead’s mother Lisa Dance said: “He had asked us to help him find a job somewhere, somewhere to live and also to see his children. The plan was for him to live with his father. He had plans for the future, his death was therefore a shock to us.

“In the weeks before he died it appeared that he was calling more often. He seemed to be agitated but I didn’t want to ask him what was wrong on the phone. I have asked him on a number of occasions if he was okay and he said he was fine.

“He seemed fine during our visits and never gave any indication that he was going to do what he did.

“In the past Sean had tried to harm himself but it was always when he was drunk. I didn’t take him seriously because of the alcohol. He would often come back and apologise.

“He would say ‘I wish I was not here’ or ‘I wish I was dead’.”

Speaking about Mr Plumstead’s problem with alcohol, she added: “He did not know when to stop and would keep drinking for a number of days. If he did not have money, he would not drink.”

Prison officer Ashley Thornhill said Mr Plumstead was “calm and accepted that he was in prison” and described him as “a model prisoner”.

Gareth Davies, Mr Plumstead’s supervising officer, said an alcohol treatment course was on Mr Plumstead’s sentence plan, and although he had not initially attended sessions, he had begun to do so in the month leading up to his death.

He added that Mr Plumstead had also been upset he had not been granted early release.

The inquest is expected to last until October 19.