Prison chiefs wrongly told the family of an innocent man that he had died in a jail cell at Parc Prison in Bridgend, South Wales
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Blundering officials from security company G4S wrongly told the family of an innocent man that he had died in a jail cell at one of their prisons, after mixing up his name.
Staff at the controversial company have apologised for the name mix-up after inmate Mohamoud Ali, 36, died in custody at their privately-run prison.
The G4S staff mistakenly reported the tragedy to the family of another Mohamoud Ali in a crowded mosque - where he was alive and well and in the middle of praying.
A source close to the family of innocent Mr Ali said: 'They went into a local mosque to try and find the family.
'An announcement was made in the mosque, much to the consternation of the congregation, about the death of Mr Ali.
'But they said: "This man's not dead. He's right here, praying." It is not as if it is an unusual name in a mosque.
'The family of the actual Mr Ali who died only then heard about it through the grapevine.'
Mr Ali was being held on 'immigration matters' at Parc Prison in Bridgend, South Wales, when he died in Cell 15 of D Block.
His family have been told he may have suffered an epileptic seizure but more tests are due to be carried out after initial results showed the cause of death was 'unascertained'.
Somali-born Mr Ali was found 'unresponsive' in his cell at 7am by prison staff who attempted CPR and called paramedics - but he couldn't be saved.
His family, from Grangetown, Cardiff, say he had no history of epilepsy.
Parc holds 1,200 inmates as a Category B men's prison operated by G4S as the only privately operated prison in Wales.
It was the first prison in the UK to be built under the Government's Private Finance Initiative at a cost of £82million when it opened in 1997.
The Independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman is now conducting an investigation into the case.
A G4S spokeswoman said: 'What happened is completely unacceptable and we have approached the family so that they may receive a personal apology.
'The death of a prisoner in custody is an extremely distressing time for the family.
'We make every effort possible to ensure that next of kin are informed quickly and with the utmost sensitivity.'
An inquest into his death was opened in Aberdare, South Wales.
Glamorgan coroner Andrew Barkley ordered a full report from police before adjourning the inquest to a later date.
G4S were scrutinised when Angolan deportee Jimmy Mubenga died while being restrained by three guards on a plane at Heathrow airport.
A jury at an inquest into his death, in October 2010, returned a verdict of unlawful killing.
The coroner issued a damning report saying their was evidence of 'pervasive racism' among G4S detention custody officers.