AN inquiry has been launched after the death of a Winchester prison inmate.

Sheldon Woodford, 24, who was sentenced to four-and-a-half years less than a month ago for stealing a 90-year-old handbag in Bournemouth, was found unresponsive in his cell on Monday, March 9.

He died in hospital on Thursday.

A spokesperson for the Prison Service said: “HMP Winchester prisoner Sheldon Woodford died in hospital at 2.10pm on Thursday March 12.

“Every death in custody is a tragedy and, as with all deaths, there will be an investigation by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”

Woodford’s family have been informed of his death, the spokesperson confirmed.

He was known to be a vulnerable prisoner, and suffered with mental health issues.

Staff at the prison were aware he was “at risk”, and he was being monitored.

An inquest was due to be opened at adjourned at Winchester Coroners’ Court next week.