November 17, 2019
International Crime

Transgender prisoner found hanged 'after quitting suicide pact'

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A prisoner was found hanged in her cell days after pulling out of a suicide pact with three other transgender inmates, an inquest heard.

Jenny Swift was found in her cell at HMP Doncaster, a male prison, in December 2017.

Another transgender prisoner, Paris Clarke, told Doncaster Coroner’s Court on Monday that the pair decided to leave the suicide pact together.

The night before she died she was “just happy”, Ms Clarke said.

More stories from across Yorkshire

Ms Swift, from Merseyside, was remanded at HMP Doncaster on an attempted murder charge following an assault in Balby in November 2017.

The man she allegedly assaulted, Eric Flanagan, was found with stab wounds and died a month later.

An inquest into her death heard Ms Swift was found hanged in her cell last December.

Ms Clarke said she had “no clue” that her friend would take her own life.

‘Bullied by staff’

“We were very close. I never got any inkling or anything that she was going to take her own life.”

She told the inquest jury that transgender prisoners were “bullied by staff” at the Serco-run prison, but “no-one was listening.”

The pair quit the suicide pact because “it was not a brilliant idea, it solves nothing”.

Ms Swift had talked about moving to a female prison, planned her life after jail, and seemed pleased that her hormone transition treatment would re-start.

Although she was “really remorseful” when told she would face a murder charge, Ms Clarke said her friend did not seem to think life was not worth living.

She saw her just before lock-up on the night she died when she talked about “living life to the full”.

“[Jenny] gave everyone a cuddle that night, like she did most nights,” she said. “She was just happy and said she’d see us all in the morning.”

The inquest began on Monday and is expected to finish later this week.

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