A man jailed for six years in 2019 for two knife-point robberies in Thanet died in prison of hypoxic brain injury caused by a heart attack, says a Prisons & Probation Ombudsman report
Wayne Cannon was jailed for robbery at knifepoint at a business in The Parade in Margate and another at a pharmacy in St Mildred’s Road, Westgate.
He was released from HMP Spring Hill on 13 May 2022, but, on 25 May, he was arrested for breaching the terms of his licence and recalled to HMP Bullingdon.
When he arrived at the prison he had a medical reception screen and told staff he had been diagnosed with hypertension and COPD. He also said that for the time he was released he had been smoking heroin daily.
Referrals were made to cardiology specialists to monitor his heart problems. Mr Cannon attended his cardiology appointment on 22 June, and specialists told him that tests results had indicated that at some point, he had suffered a heart attack, which needed further investigation. No changes were needed to his medication
However, on 8 July 2022, Mr Cannon collapsed in the communal shower area. He was found by two prisoners who placed him in the recovery position and shouted for help. A Supervising Officer (SO) was the first member of staff to arrive and he immediately called a medical emergency code and prison and healthcare staff started cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
The report says the ambulance was called at 4.22pm. The first ambulance arrived at the prison at 4:53pm, with three others arriving in the following half an hour. The first ambulance paramedic arrived at the cell within six minutes.
Paramedics attended and continued with resuscitation attempts. The ambulance paramedic log noted there was a delay in getting to Mr Cannon due to security procedures. The ambulance left Bullingdon at 5.42pm and arrived at the John Radcliffe Hospital at 6.34pm.
Mr Cannon’s condition deteriorated in hospital, and he died on 15 July 2022. An inquest into his death was held on November 16 this year.
The Prisons & Probation Ombudsman report concluded that the care the 51-year-old received at Bullingdon was equivalent to what he could have expected to receive in the community.
The clinical reviewer noted that there was a delay in the ambulance reaching Mr Cannon and leaving the prison when he was taken to hospital.
The report says: “ Although this did not affect the outcome for Mr Cannon, such delays could make a critical difference in other medical emergencies.”
A recommendation was made for the Governor toreview the local security procedures for emergency response staff and vehicles to ensure they do not create avoidable delays in the emergency response.
Family and friends say that despite his troubles Wayne was “a lovely man” and a “nice funny guy.”