A SUICIDAL robber died after prison staff took nine minutes to call an ambulance when he was found hanging in his cell, a report has revealed.

Sheldon Woodford, convicted of robbing a 90-year-old in the street in 2015, was being held in Winchester Prison following his conviction.

A report from the Prisons Ombudsman criticised the way he was looked after in prison and found staff had reduced checks on him despite previous suicide attempts.

Delays in getting help for Mr Woodford, 24, “could have been critical”, the Ombudsman said.

He died in hospital three days after being found hanging in his cell on March 9 2015.

Sheldon Woodford Sheldon Woodford

Mr Woodford had first been sent to Winchester in January the same year while on remand. At court he said he would kill himself in prison. A suicide and self-harm warning form was completed at court but was not considered by reception staff at the prison.

When he cut his arm 10 days later, assessment, care in custody and teamwork (ACCT) monitoring was put in place but it was ended in mid-February despite him being sentenced to four-and-a-half years.

He was found hanging in his cell on February 24 and he was rescued and taken to hospital.

When he returned on March 1 staff checked him twice an hour but it was reduced to once an hour before the fatal episode.

The Ombudsman’s report concluded: “The emergency response was poor. It took too long for healthcare staff to respond and there was a delay in calling an ambulance. It also took too long to inform Mr Woodford’s family that he had been taken to hospital in a critical condition.” The charity, Inquest, said 10 self-inflicted deaths at Winchester since 2015 showed “lessons have not been learned”.

The Prison Service said procedures to support prisoners on arrival were currently being reviewed and anti-ligature windows would be rolled out at HMP Winchester from January.