Transgender woman who died at Doncaster men's prison found 'hanged' in cell, inquest hears

An inquest into the death of a transgender woman who died at a private men's prison in Doncaster has opened today.

Monday, 9th January 2017, 12:37 pm
Updated Monday, 9th January 2017, 1:01 pm
Swift, of Seaforth, Liverpool was found hanged in her cell at HMP Doncaster in the early hours of December 30.

Senior Coroner Nicola Mundy opened the inquest into the death of Jenny Swift, aged 49, at Doncaster Coroners' Court this morning.

In documentation used by South Yorkshire Police, Crown Prosecution Service and the Coroners' Court, Swift is referred to as Jonathan, which is her registered name.

Her name had not been legally changed by the time she died.

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The court was told how Swift, of Seaforth, Liverpool was found hanged in her cell at HMP Doncaster in the early hours of December 30.

Coroner's Officer, PC Paul Hawker, told the court: "CPR was carried out, and paramedics were called out.


"He was pronounced dead at 1.10am.

"The police attended at the time and after an assessment said that there were no suspicious circumstances.

"The post mortem was started at the Medico Legal Centre in Sheffield on January 5 but due to waiting on toxicology and histology reports this has not been completed."

The inquest has now been adjourned until June this year, and Swift's body has been released to her family in order to allow for a funeral to take place.

Swift, who worked as a bus driver, was remanded into custody at HMP Doncaster on November 17, after being charged with attempted murder in relation to an assault carried out against Eric Flanagan, 26, at a property in Surrey Street, Balby on November 15.

Mr Flanagan died in hospital exactly a month after the assault on December 15, and following his death South Yorkshire Police confirmed they had passed the case back to the Crown Prosecution Service to upgrade the charge to murder.

The charge had not been changed by the time Swift died on December 30.

South Yorkshire Police have been contacted for comment on the current status of the investigation, following Swift's death.

An inquest into Mr Flanagan's death was also opened at Doncaster Coroners' Court this morning.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Justice said they were aware Swift was transgender when she was remanded into the Category B private men’s prison at Marshgate.

No explanation has been given on the decision to place Swift at HMP Doncaster, but a MoJ spokesman confirmed an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman into the case is now underway