David Dunnings inquest

January 30, 2020

Shelley Peynado-Clarke of Tuckers solicitors represented the family of David Dunnings in an inquest which concluded that there was a “complete failure to follow process” at HMP Coldingley, contributing to Mr Dunnings’ death. Instructed Counsel was Tom Stoate of Garden Court Chambers.

David Dunnings was an IPP sentenced prisoner, who committed suicide whilst resident at HMP Coldingley on 8 July 2017. David was segregated on 14 June following an adjudication (which was later quashed) and he remained there until his death on 8 July. Interested Parties in this matter were the Ministry of Justice, who are the governing body for HMP Coldingley and Central and North West London foundation trust, who provide both primary and mental healthcare within the prison.

The inquest concluded earlier this month and after 4 hours and 27 minutes of deliberations, the jury provided the following, damning, verdict.

  • There was a complete failure to follow process and to communicate within the prison, and, more importantly, to Mr Dunnings himself;
  • The ACCT system, designed to safeguard prisoners, was not sufficiently informed or quality checked and was lacking in consistency of delivery and auditable actions;
  • A multidisciplinary approach was not possible due to the inadequate mental health care provisions resulting in a serious failure in the ACCT process;
  • The risk posed to Mr Dunnings of being on the segregation wing was underestimated, given that he was an IPP prisoner over tariff; a fact that was inadequately acknowledged; and
  • There was a serious failure in communication between multiple agencies working in siloed and multiple systems and policies within HMP Coldingley.

The family are extremely pleased with the result, and are satisfied that justice has been done for David. They can now begin to grieve knowing their questions have been heard and answered.

The following articles in the Independent Newspaper and Inquest have been published today: