Sheffield dad Jamie Bennett ‘died days after release from Moorlands Prison after pledge to quit drugs’

A ‘devoted’ dad who was committed to quitting drugs was found dead in a Sheffield hostel four days after being released from prison.

Wednesday, 27th April 2022, 9:18 am

Jamie Bennett was described by family, friends and prison staff as a man who was “happy”, “excited” and “full of life” when he left HMP Moorlands on May 1, 2020.

His family last saw him as they dropped him off that afternoon at a temporary hostel at Norfolk Park Village. But he was found dead in his room the next day.

Read More

Read More
Fox Hill road closure: Emergency services sent out to Sheffield neighbourhood ov...

Sign up to our daily newsletter

An inquest has been launched into the death of a Sheffield dad who died in a hostel four days after being released from prison.

At the beginning of a four-day inquest into his death on Monday (April 25), the coroner heard how prior to his release, Mr Bennett had pledged to give up drugs, engaged well with activities to break his habit and refused a ‘naloxone’ overdose reversal kit on his way out.

In a statement read out by coroner Tanyka Rawden, Mr Bennett’s family said they “couldn’t grieve” until they learned how he died.

The statement by his sister read: “He was so happy when he walked out of prison. He was so excited to see his son. He had hopes and dreams to find somewhere for him and his son to live together.

"He loved his son and he loved being a father. When I see his son they are an absolute double. He reminds me of him every time I see him.

Moorland Prison in Doncaster

"During his last eight weeks in prison, we weren’t allowed to see him because of Covid, which was very hard.

"Jamie had the best sense of humour which often had us laughing for hours on end.”

The 33-year-old had been imprisoned for 32 weeks in September 2019 after pleading guilty to theft, breach of a suspended sentence and willfully obstructing a police officer.

At the hearing on Monday, two members of prison staff spoke well of Jamie and his efforts inside prison.

Head of healthcare services at HMP Moorlands Nicola Wraith described him as “cheeky” and “full of life,” saying: “In December, his main focus was abstaining from taking any substances so he could go back to his family.”

Michael Wilkinson from the prison’s substance misuse team said: “He had more life about him.

"He only engaged with the substance misuse workbooks if he was forced to, because he would say ‘I’m alright I don’t need it’. He kept saying he wouldn’t take substances anymore.”

When he was released from prison on May 1, Mr Bennett refused a ‘naloxone’ kit, which is a drug used to reverse the effects of an overdose on opioids in an emergency.

On his release, he was picked up by his sister and son, went to his dad’s house for a shower, and was in time for his appointment to check in at a hostel at Norfolk Park Village, where his family last saw him while dropping him off.

It is believed he died sometime on May 2, and was found by staff on the same day.

In the statement read out in court, his family said: “We just want to know what happened to our brother, son and dad. We cannot grieve properly until we know why and how he died.

"Jamie was a devoted and thoughtful soul and he will be dearly missed.”

The inquest is set to conclude on April 28.

Editor’s note: A previous version of this story reported Mr Bennett died on May 5. This was a misunderstanding, and it is believed he died sometime on May 2, and was found on the same day. It was also reported that he refused a methadone subscription when he left prison, when what he refused was a naloxone kit. This story has been updated to reflect this.