Chesterfield mum says Nottingham prison – where her son died – was ‘uncontrollable’

Sharon Whitford holding picture with her son Marc Maltby (white top) who was found dead in Nottingham prison.
Sharon Whitford holding picture with her son Marc Maltby (white top) who was found dead in Nottingham prison.

The mum of a Chesterfield man who died at Nottingham prison says problems with drugs and violence there were ‘uncontrollable’.

Marc Maltby’s mother Sharon Whitford was speaking after a watchdog claimed lives are at risk at the ‘fundamentally unsafe’ prison.

Peter Clarke, the chief inspector of prisons, has written to justice secretary David Gauke about his concerns over the safety of inmates and staff there – and ordered him to take action within 28 days.

It is thought eight Nottingham HMP prisoners have taken their own lives in the past two years.

Inspections between 2016 and 2018 have found an increase in the number of inmates self-harming and high levels of drugs, violence and assaults.

The body of Newbold man Marc Maltby, 23, was found in Nottingham prison last October.

His mum told Radio 4’s Today programme her son told her conditions were “horrible”, with prisoners harming themselves, not getting food on time, living in “mucky” cells and not having attention paid to them by guards.

“It was uncontrollable - people were taking drugs, they were easy to get, and basically nobody really cared,” she said.

Ms Whitford explained there was “no indication” over how vulnerable her son’s mental health was, and she is still waiting to find out the full details of how he died.

“When they’re sent to prison it’s for their own good and to keep them out of trouble and to keep them out of danger,” she said.

“Obviously that’s not being done, because my son’s not coming home.”