Prosecutors said Nicholas Tom Rose killed a teenager, Charlotte Pinkney in Devon, who died from airway obstruction, the aspiration of gastric content and intoxication of the drug spice at HMP Guys Marsh near Shaftesbury on May 19 2019, and hid her body, which has never been found, after she rejected his sexual advances.
Rose, from Ilfracombe, claimed he dropped Charlotte off outside a community centre and never saw her again. But he was convicted and ordered to serve at least 20 years in prison.
On the day he died, he was checked at around 8.30am, a report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman said. He was found dead when a lunchtime roll call was done at 12.15pm, it said.
A pathologist concluded Rose died from airway obstruction due to aspiration of vomit as a result of psychoactive substances (PS) intoxication.
The report said that Rose was the sixth prisoner to die at HMP Guys Marsh in the two-year period since May 2017. Of the previous deaths, one was from natural causes, three were PS related and one was a self-inflicted death in which PS played a part. There has been one death since Rose’s (in July 2020) also due to PS.
A four-day inquest hearing at Dorset Coroner’s Court at Bournemouth Town Hall took place from March 21 to March 24 this year. Mr Allen stated that prior to his death Rose ingested spice and concluded that he died by misadventure. The Prison Service was approached for a contribution to the situation on ground.
Assistant coroner for Dorset, Brendan Allen, who sent his letter to the prison’s governor, said: “Evidence was heard that a ‘grunt’ in response to a welfare check is considered acceptable and fulfils the requirement for a ‘verbal response’.”
He said he is ‘concerned’ that accepting a grunt does not go far enough, adding: “Such a response gives very limited information upon which a prison officer can assess a prisoner’s welfare.
“Accepting such a response potentially loses sight of the purpose of a welfare check, which must be to check that the prisoner is alive, immediately safe and well; that is, that they are conscious, breathing, not in a state of distress, not in a state of intoxication and that there are not any other factors that might require immediate intervention to prevent harm.”
Mr Allen said a “verbal response … allows a prison officer to assess if a prisoner has responded in an appropriate manner, giving an indication as to whether the prisoner retains the cognitive function to provide an appropriate response”.
Nicholas Tom Rose, aged 37 years old esponded to a prison officer with a ‘grunt’ hours before being found lifeless in bed and with policy saying inmates must reply verbally, his inquest at Bournemouth Town Hall heard.