Unsolved Murders

Keith Abbot

Age: 45

Sex: male

Date: 15 Jul 2016

Place: HMP Haverigg, Millom, Cumbria

Source: www.newsandstar.co.uk

Keith Abbot died in HMP Haverigg on 15 July 2016.

Five people were arrested in connection with his death which was described as suspicious, but no one was charged.

He had severe injuries.

He was found hanged in his single occupancy cell at about 9am on 15 July 2016.

His post-mortem concluded that his death was due to hanging, but the pathologist said that he also found evidence indicating that Keith Abbot had been subject to a serious sexual assault in the hour before his death.

The pathologist said that there were a number of unusual features, including his complex and intricate ligature, which he said the likes of which she had never seen in her 30-year career.

She concluded that, 'Because of all the unusual features, I could not exclude that an unlawful act had occurred in the death of Keith Abbott in the process of hanging'.

At his inquest, the jury concluded that the sexual assault was a 'more than minimal, trivial or negligible cause' of his death.

His inquest, which was described as a fact finding exercise and concluded in March 2019, stated that several people were arrested following his death, but that no one was charged. It further noted that whilst there were no traces of spice in his system, it was not possible to exclude the use of other synthetic cannabinoids due to the difficulties detecting them prior to rapid deaths. When the jury was asked whether they found that adequate steps had been taken by prison staff to keep Keith Abbot, who had been under the care of a mental health team during 2015, safe, they said, 'No'.

The inqest heard that prison staff were burnt out and that searches for drugs, including spiec and spice variants had been scaled back as a result.

However, the inquest heard that the prison's operational capacity had since been cut back from 644 to 260 since Keith Abbot's death and that the prisoner billets had been closed down.

Keith Abbot had been convicted in October 2015 for breaking into a friend’s house and holding a kitchen knife to his friend’s throat and sentenced to four years. It was said that he had threatened his former schoolmate with an eight-inch kitchen knife whilst he was half-asleep at 3.45am on 9 December 2014 and that at the time he himself had been 'off his head' on alcohol and drugs. His old schoolmate said that Keith Abbot had been drooling from his mouth and had demanded £400 in cash.

Two men were questioned over Keith Abbot's death under Operation Knightsbridge which was a major probe into criminality in the prison, but no one was charged.

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