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Riliwanu Balogan expulsion threat ended in tragedy at Glen Parva Young Offenders' Centre


A jury has returned a verdict of misadventure at the inquest of a man who hanged himself at a young offenders' institute as he feared deportation back to Nigeria.

Riliwanu Balogan was found hanged in his cell at Glen Parva Young Offenders' Centre the day after his 21st birthday and was resuscitated. But he died at Leicester Royal Infirmary eight days later on May 16, 2011.

Young offenders' centre senior officer Paul Mayfield told the inquest Mr Balogan had been detained on immigration issues and was awaiting deportation back to Africa.

Mr Mayfield said: "He told me he had nothing to live for.

"He said, 'I'll be deported back to Nigeria. I've got no-one back there. I'll be living in the slums'."

Mr Mayfield said Mr Balogan had been transferred to Leicester from HMP Woodhill, Milton Keynes, after becoming infatuated with a female prison officer.

He had a history of using a ligature while in prison, using his socks to tie around his neck on January 15.

He said Mr Balogan had mental health problems and had been moved to a "safe cell" as he had been classed as a suicide risk.

Psychiatric nurse Alison Wilford said she had been called to deal with a superficial cut on Mr Balogan's neck on May 7.

She said: "He was quite willing to speak to me, talking about his 21st birthday and the prospect of his deportation, almost giving a list of his problems."

She said the cut, a small nick with a razor blade, was not serious and she did not regard it as a suicide attempt.

Dr John Grenville, who carried out a review of the death, told the inquest: "Even under continuous supervision his chance of carrying out suicide would have remained high.

"In my opinion, the healthcare teams recognised that Mr Balogan was a vulnerable man and affected him with what help and support they could."

A pathologist's report gave the cause of Mr Balogan's death as a hypoxic brain injury and bronchial pneumonia.

Coroner Martin Gotheridge said Mr Balogan had been brought to England when he was seven.

He was abandoned in London and spent time either in foster care or children's homes.

"He was not a British citizen and not legally in this country. His solicitor told him that all means of appeal against his deportation had been exhausted.

"It was even more daunting to him to be sent to Nigeria where he did not know anyone – his mother was dead, his father was living in another country in Africa and he had no contact with any siblings.

"It is not surprising that he saw no hope."

Mr Gotheridge expressed sympathy to the members of HM Prison Service involved with Mr Balogan.

He said: "It can be very disturbing for them, even if they are at no way at fault."

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