EXCLUSIVE: Family claims man hanged himself at Norwich Prison after anti-depressants were taken from him
A FATHER-OF-TWO hanged himself in prison after doctors took away his anti-depressants and gave him a clean bill of health, relatives claimed last night.
Thomas Curtis, 29, of Elm, was found hanged at Norwich Prison on �January 2, 11 days after he was arrested for �breaching the conditions of his release.
He had been freed in the summer after serving five years of a 12-year sentence for a string of ATM raids and robberies across East Anglia.
An investigation has been launched into Mr Curtis’ death, but his �family say his medication was taken from him when he arrived at Norwich Prison.
Edna Curtis, Mr Curtis’ widow, spoke after we reported his death last week.
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She said: “You wrote last week that Tom was not suicidal and did not suffer from depression.
“I can tell you that Tom has seen many doctors before going back to prison and there was concern on both counts.
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“Tom was on medication from doctors to help him cope – he was even going to hospital. But when Tom arrived back in prison, within two days they declared him fit and well and took away his �medication.
“We are his family and we know him better than anyone but we didn’t get a say in the situation.”
Mr Curtis was arrested on December 22 when armed police turned up at the caravan site in New Bridge Lane where he lived.
However, the following day he was transferred to Norwich Prison because he was not well.
Mrs Curtis said relatives were not allowed to visit him in prison. The only contact they had was a phone call on Christmas Day.
She said: “I will never let this go until the day I die. It won’t bring him back and my heart has gone with him.”
Betty Curtis, Mr Curtis’ mum, said: “I want to help other families.
“If this can stop one more person dying at least something positive has come out of this.”
A prison service spokesman said: “Every death in prison is a tragedy and affects families, staff and other prisoners deeply, and we are committed to reducing the number of such incidents.
“All deaths in prisons are subject to an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, and an inquest is held before a jury.
“The National Offender Management Service has systems in place to learn from deaths in custody, enabling it to improve its understanding of, and procedures for caring for prisoners at risk of suicide or self-harm.”
A police spokesman said: “We don’t make decisions over prison recalls - it’s made by the Home Office and probation.
“A recall has to be signed by the Home Secretary, we just action the arrest and handover to the prison service.”