A jury has been sworn in at the inquest of an inmate at HMP Highpoint who found the means to end his life in his prison cell.

Mohammed Sayeef Uddin was 39 when he died at the Stradishall prison on December 28, 2022.

Mr Uddin was sentenced to three years imprisonment for drug offences in March of 2022, and began his sentence at HMP Pentonville in London.

At Pentonville, he was identified as needing an autism and an ADHD assessment.

However, he was transferred to Highpoint in October, before full assessments could be carried out.

Head of healthcare, Ashley Maund, explained that these assessments were not carried out at Highpoint as NHS England does not provide funding for such assessments.

The court heard that at the time of his transfer, Mr Uddin told the nurse who examined him that he had no current or historical mental health diagnoses.

However, on November 3, Mr Uddin told staff that he was feeling anxious and worried. A referral was made to Forward Trust, a charity which Highpoint commissions to offer services to prisoners including talking therapy.

Mr Uddin was informed by Forward Trust that he would be notified when an appointment became available.

In court on Monday, it was heard that those referred typically wait between three and six months for an appointment.

Mr Uddin was placed under an ACCT (assessment, care in custody and teamwork), a process used to support people who are at risk of suicide or self-harm. Mr Uddin’s observations were increased to every two hours.

On November 9, Mr Uddin told a substance misuse practitioner for Phoenix Futures, a drug and alcohol agency commissioned by NHS England, that he had been having thoughts of suicide and self-harm. This information was added to his ACCT.

Mr Uddin told staff at the prison that he had been feeling increasingly anxious.

He said that, although he was not being bullied, he felt paranoid other inmates were talking about him and wanted to be transferred to the smaller north wing of the prison.

Mr Uddin was transferred to the north wing on December 13.

He was assigned a new key worker, but did not have the chance to meet her owing to shift patterns and annual leave.

The court was told that a 'buddy' should in theory have met with Mr Uddin in the key worker's absence, but this appears not to have happened.

At around 5am on the morning of December 28, an operational support grade checked on Mr Uddin, shining her torch through the observational panel to his cell. She asked if he was OK, and believed she heard him reply “Yes”.

An hour later, the officer checked again. Mr Uddin was found deceased inside his cell.

The inquest continues, and is expected to conclude on Friday.

If you need urgent mental health support call NHS 111 and select option 2 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week.