Teenagers’s inquest told of computer glitch over Mother's Day


A teenager who was found hanged in his cell at Shropshire’s young offenders’ institution did not believe he was going to see his mum on Mother’s Day because of a ‘computer glitch,’ an inquest has heard. Nicholas Saunders, 18, from Shrewsbury, was serving a sentence for possession of an offensive weapon in a public place at HMP & YOI Stoke Heath, based near Market Drayton, when the teenager died on April 2 last year. The jury at the inquest in Wem yesterday heard that Mr Saunders had sent out a visiting order (VO) to his mum Caren Peters and two friends from Shrewsbury. His mother had booked a visit for April 3, Mother’s Day, but the prison computer showed that it was Shane Jones and Nathan Evans due to visit. Mr Saunders died the day before. Alison Thompson, the mail room manager at HMP Stoke Heath, said each VO had a unique reference number with names attached and bookings were made using the number. Somehow the wrong names were attached to Mrs Peters’ VO. She said: “There is no record of any visit by the two friends. Mrs Peters’ visiting number was allocated to the boys so it appeared it was the boys that were visiting. “We rang the computer department who said there was all sorts of things happening with the computer system that weekend nationwide. “It would have been a computer glitch.” Mr Saunders had served three months of his 14-month sentence at HMP Woodhill, near Milton Keynes, before being transferred to Stoke Heath in February 2011. The inquest also heard that two different visitor IDs had been created for Mrs Peters.

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