‘There was a lot of blood on the floor’ - nurses describe seeing prisoner bleed to death in cell

Kenneth Martin died at Norwich Prison. Photo : Steve Adams

Kenneth Martin died at Norwich Prison. Photo : Steve Adams - Credit: Steve Adams

Prison nurses described the horrifying moment they found a prisoner bleeding to death in his cell.

Kenneth Martin, 37, died at Norwich Prison on July 31 last year after losing a large amount of blood from a self-inflicted wound.

A jury inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich - which is due to conclude on Thursday - heard Mr Martin had arrived at the prison on May 18 and was under the care of the mental health team.

Giving live evidence on Wednesday, Virgin Care mental health nurse Virginia Tandy said Mr Martin was a prolific self harmer and that when he did harm 'he did so quite badly'.

She said she saw Mr Martin on the morning of July 31 and that there were no concerns when he took his medication.

In the afternoon, at just before 1pm, she received a call about Mr Martin needing medical attention, but there was no indication on the seriousness of the incident.

She said there are two codes that measures this - code red is called when a prisoner is suffering severe blood loss and code blue for when a prisoner is having difficulty breathing.

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On arriving at his cell, the nurse said she found Mr Martin bleeding profusely and that he was a pale with greyish lips.

The incident was deemed code red and an ambulance was called, which arrived at about 1.26pm.

Despite resuscitation attempts by prison staff and the paramedics, Mr Martin was pronounced dead at the scene.

In an interview transcript that was read out in court, prison pharmacy technician Sharon Hartley described Mr Martin as a nice guy who was polite to prison staff.

She said Mr Martin had been bleeding into a bucket which was almost full of his blood. When asked to describe the size of the bucket she said it may have been seven litres.

An earlier inquest heard the number of observations he received had changed during his time in prison which depended on his wellbeing.

Due to the progress he was making, the decision was made to lower the number of observations days before he died.

The inquest continues.

If you are struggling with feelings of desperation or isolation you can contact the Samaritans on 116123.

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