A PAEDOPHILE who “prostituted” a nine-year-old girl hanged himself in prison, just days after his suicide watch was stopped.
Paul Cavner, 56, took his own life at HMP Northumberland having been tormented by voices in his head.
Paul Cavner was found hanging in his cell on November 1, 2020Credit: NCJMedia
Paramedics administered CPR but could not save him and he was declared dead on November 1, 2020.
A report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) found monitoring aimed at preventing suicide was ended “prematurely,” six days before he died.
Bosses at the privately-run prison have been ordered to ensure suicide and self-harm monitoring is carried out properly in future.
Cavner had been sentenced in September 2019, along with three other child abusers, for crimes against a vulnerable young girl who had been “prostituted out” from the age of nine.
She suffered a campaign of vile abuse which last until she was 14, someone offered her to a series of men in return for money, cigarettes and alchol.
Cavner’s sexual abuse was more isolated than those of the other accused in the case, but he was behind one vile incident which prompted the girl to finally seek refuge.
He was jailed for nine years after being found guilty of one count of rape and one of indecent assault.
He was sent to the prison in the north-east in October 2019 and was placed in a block for older prisoners.
In October 2020, Cavner took an overdose of a number of medications, according to the PPO report, saying it was because “people were shouting at him at night and watching him through the air vents”.
He was taken to hospital and discharged the following day.
The prison then started its suicide and self-harm prevention procedures, known as ACCT.
At an ACCT meeting, Cavner told staff he heard “unpleasant and abusive” voices which sometimes told him to take medication.
By the third meeting though he claimed he was “coming to terms” with them.
Ten days after ACCT started, the monitoring was stopped.
Six days later, Cavner was found hanging in his cell.
The PPO report concluded the monitoring was “not managed well,” and included a “significant failing” that a mental health nurse had not attended the last review of Cavner’s condition and no mental health nurses were involved in the decision to end it.
MONITORING ENDED ‘PREMATURELY’
Ombudsman Sue McAllister said: “I am concerned that staff stopped ACCT monitoring prematurely.
“Not only had a mental health assessment not been carried out when the decision to stop monitoring was made, but no-one from the mental health team had input to the decision.
“There was also a lack of continuity in staff attendance at the ACCT case reviews and ACCT documentation was inaccurate as it showed that staff had made contributions when they had not done so.”
She also expressed concern that at the beginning of the monitoring a mental health nurse had arranged to carry out a urine test to see whether the confusion was caused by a urinary tract infection (UTI), with the proceeding steps to be determined once the results were in.
The negative test results were uploaded to the electronic medical record but the mental health team were not notified.
McAllister said: “It is likely that Mr Cavner would have had a mental health assessment had the mental health team been aware of the urine test result.”
Bosses at HMP Northumberland were ordered to “ensure that staff manage prisoners at risk of suicide and self-harm in line with national policy”.
It was also told to review the process for requesting physical health investigations to ensure all relevant staff were included in the reporting process and to make sure the report’s findings were discussed with the two staff members who had carried out the suicide monitoring.
A spokesperson for HMP Northumberland said: “Our thoughts are very much with the family of Mr Cavner, who sadly passed away in November 2020.
“We cooperated fully with the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s investigation, accepted the recommendations made, and are implementing an action plan based on these recommendations.”
Bosses at the privately-run prison have been ordered to ensure suicide and self-harm monitoring is carried out properly in futureCredit: NCJMedia
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