Wife demands full inquiry into husband’s prison suicide

The wife of Lee Crabtree, a 32-year old father from Llandudno who hanged himself at Altcourse prison in Liverpool last week, has demanded a full inquiry into his suicide.

Karen Crabtree claims that her husband, who had recently had a mental illness, was deprived of medication for his illness at the prison, and should have been receiving specialist treatment in hospital.

Mr Crabtree was on remand at the prison after escaping from the mental health unit of Ysbyty Gwynedd, Bangor, where he had been sectioned. He was accused of stealing a nurse’s car during an escape back to Llandudno, and faced charges of robbery, criminal damage and taking a vehicle without consent.

Mrs Crabtree said: “Lee was sectioned because of his problem yet within days was fit to be put in a prison cell.

“He should never have been in prison, because what he needed was help for his medical condition.

“He was ill and needed help but he didn’t get it.”

Lee Crabtree had been assigned to a cell at Altcourse prison, but was on suicide watch. His barrister had claimed just days before that he should be in hospital.

An internal and police inquiry has reportedly been launched into the death, and that of another man from Cheshire who hanged himself at the prison the following day.

Hafal’s North Wales Manager Janet Randles said: “We support Mrs Crabtree’s call for a full enquiry: it is essential that we establish the facts and learn lessons from Lee Crabtree’s tragic death.”