Mum's agonising wait to discover why son died unnoticed in jail
PUBLISHED: 17:45 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:50 12 August 2010
A MOTHER has had to wait more than three years to find out why her son died of pneumonia in a prison without the staff picking up on the illness. The family of Rory Kinloch, 38, from Beckenham, were at Southwark Coroners Court on Tuesday to hear a patho
A MOTHER has had to wait more than three years to find out why her son died of pneumonia in a prison without the staff picking up on the illness.
The family of Rory Kinloch, 38, from Beckenham, were at Southwark Coroners Court on Tuesday to hear a pathologist say the prisoner's case of pneumonia was so bad that he had abscesses on his lungs.
The chronic asthma sufferer and former Kelsey Park School student died in Brixton Prison on June 15, 2006 after he was remanded for failing to answer a warrant.
Mother Madeleine Kinloch identified her son's body at Greenwich mortuary the day after the death.
The mother-of-four said: "At the beginning we were told we'd have the inquest in six months, which then seemed pretty awful, but we have had to wait three-and-a-half years which has been unbearable for the family."
Kinloch, a former heroin user, was being given methadone, but a pathologist told the jury that he would not count this is a major contributory factor to the prisoner's death.
Home Office pathologist Dr Kenneth Shorrock told the court: "I was surprised to find him severely ill because there was nothing I was told that led me to believe that he had been unwell for one or two days, a week.
"The only thing I was really told was that he went to bed, his cellmate realised something was wrong and found him dead.
"It was a particularly severe pneumonia.
"It produced abscesses on his lungs.
"We are talking at least a day, quite possibly a few days, but I can't say precisely.
"He would have been very unwell.
Dr Shorrock told coroner Andrew Walker that traces of benzodiazepine contained in Valium were found in his blood, as well as methadone.
He said: "He didn't have any alcohol in his blood or any other drugs.
"Methadone is a sedative. It depresses breathing. If you go to hospital they give you morphine - heroin.
"If you are ill, it suppresses the feeling of illness. He might not realise quite so acutely that he is ill.
"He did have asthma. That could go in as a contributory cause.
"Crack cocaine is very different because it is not a depressant drug. It is a stimulatory drug. Generally, I can't see crack cocaine contributing to his final illness.
"With heroin it depends on how much heroin he was taking. If you grow tolerant to heroin, then you grow tolerant to methadone.
"The overwhelming number people who take methadone do not die of pneumonia.
"It is my view that because of the severe pneumonia, I find it hard to believe he would appear well.
"The fact he died of pneumonia is inescapable."
The inquest continues.