UPDATE: Chelmsford prisoner found on fire died by accident


JailA CONVICTED paedophile found on fire in his cell in Chelmsford Prison died by accident, an inquest heard.

Anthony Quigley, 55, was found on fire by prison staff on 9 July last year. He died at Broomfield Hospital on 3 August.

A four day inquest into his death began on Monday at Chelmsford Coroner’s Court.

The inquest heard Mr Quigley was convicted in 2004 of sex offences against children and sentenced to serve 13 years in prison and four years on extended licence.

He was released on licence in September 2012 and recalled following a breach on 28 September and was taken for the first time to HMP Chelmsford.

The jury, of seven men and four women, came to their conclusion on Thursday, 22 May after hearing My Quigley suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and was concerned he would be attacked and killed by dogs in his cell. He also heard voices, although he was aware they were not real.

My Quigley, who was given oral psychotic medication to help with his mental illness, was permitted to keep his observation flap open on his cell door as other prisoners would then be heard barking to scare him.

The inquest heard other prisoners could hear shouts of “I’m dying” before Mr Quigley was found inside his cell on fire on 9 July.

Prisoner officers were alerted by his cell alarm and rushed to the scene, requesting the help of four nurses. Fellow prisoners that heard the shouts of “Quigley’s on fire” then wetted towels in their cell sinks and nurses used them to cool him down.

The inquest heard Mr Quigley said: “I didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident” before being taken to Broomfield Hospital, where he died nearly a month later.

Mr Quigley, a heavy smoker, was allowed cigarettes and matches in his cell which he used to set fire to himself.

Prison officers that worked with Mr Quigley told Coroner Eleanor McGann that had these been taken off of him, it would have caused him “severe distress”.

Independent pathologist Dr David Rouse said Mr Quigley died from severe burns that covered 90 per cent of his body.

Prisoner officer Samantha Chumbley told the Coroner she had a good rapport and supportive relationship with Mr Quigley. She said the corridor after the incident was covered in Mr Quigley’s skin and nylon tracksuit that had melted in the flames.

Giving evidence Edward Colby, a serving prisoner who was also a listener trained by Samaritans within Chelmsford Prison, said Mr Quigley told him the night before the incident: “I won’t be here tomorrow, the dogs are going to get me.”

Prior to this on 7 July, Mr Quigley had scalded his hand with a kettle while in his cell, leaving him with a red mark and superficial cuts. When asked by prison officers why he did it, he replied that he “didn’t know”.

The inquest heard plans were being made for Mr Quigley to be introduced into the community under supervision in the months leading up to his death, with a move to supportive accommodation also planned.

Following the jury’s hour-long deliberation, Coroner Eleanor McGann ruled that Mr Quigley died by accident.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here