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PRISONER INQUEST: Man died of cocaine overdose 11 days after leaving Bovingdon prison

 Published on: 25th April 2024   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

An inquiry into the death of a man who had recently been released from The Mount Prison in Bovingdon found that authorities lost contact with him while he was on licence.

Julian Van Rooyen, 44, who had served a spell in prison for assault and drug trafficking, was found dead following a cocaine overdose on July 17, 2023. He had been released from prison 11 days earlier. A Zimbabwean international, he was on immigration remand.

An inquest into Mr Van Rooyen’s death took place on March 20, 2024, conducted by the Prisons & Probation Ombudsman.

The inquest found that Mr Van Rooyen did not attend his probation meeting on July 12, 2023. The prison’s probation staff did not send him a letter informing him that he had breached the terms of his licence, nor did they arrange a new appointment for him, as they should have done.

Adrian Usher, who wrote the report, stated: “A senior probation officer said that Mr Van Rooyen’s non-attendance on July 12 should have been recorded as an unacceptable failure of his licence conditions.

“There is no record that Mr Van Rooyen had any further contact with the Probation Service up to his death on July 17.”

It was also found that Mr Van Rooyen had a history of substance misuse and had previously used community substances misuse services.

However, at The Mount, Mr Van Rooyen did not engage with the substance misuse service and declined an assessment with the Forward Trust’s services.

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