United Kingdom

Girl, 18, dies in custody at women’s prison as investigation launched

An 18-year-old girl has died in custody at a women’s prison in Cheshire.

An investigation has been launched after Annelise Sanderson died at HMP Styal, in Wilmslow, on Tuesday.

Her family have been informed, the Prisons Service said.

The Prison and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) – which looks into all deaths and complaints in custody – has launched an independent investigation into her death, reports the Manchester Evening News.

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “HMP Styal prisoner Annelise Sanderson died in custody on 22 December and our condolences are with her family and friends at this difficult time.

The teen died at the prison in Cheshire

“The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman has been informed.”

Ms Sanderson is the fifth inmate to die at the prison over the last three years.

Nicola Birchall, 41, died while in custody at HMP Styal in February 2018.

On June 4, 2018, Imogen Mellor, 29, died at the prison.

Christine MacDonald, 56, was found collapsed in her cell while serving a sentence at the women’s prison on March 3, 2019.

She was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital where she later died.

Susan Knowles, 48, died at HMP Styal on May 10, 2019.

HMP Styal is currently being investigated following the death of a baby at the prison in June.

According to reports, neither the woman or staff were aware she was pregnant until she went into labour on the toilet on June 18.

She had been given paracetamol after complaining of severe stomach pains over the course of several days.

But when it became clear she was in labour and going to give birth, she was assisted by prison and healthcare staff, but the baby was stillborn, The Guardian reported at the time.

Four months later, in October, the prison went into lockdown following an outbreak of Covid-19, with all visits temporarily suspended.

HMP Styal, a former orphanage, was first opened as a women’s prison in 1962 to serve female inmates from Strangeways, in Manchester.

The institution is the only female prison in the region and holds a capacity of 486 inmates.


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