Huntley back in jail after suicide bid

Soham murderer Ian Huntley needed hospital treatment tonight following a failed suicide attempt.

Soham murderer Ian Huntley needed hospital treatment tonight following a failed suicide attempt.

It is believed that the killer had earlier taken an overdose of prescription medication at Wakefield high security prison.

A Prison Service spokeswoman confirmed Huntley had received medical care before being transferred back to the prison.

An investigation into the incident will be launched, the official added.

It was the third recorded attempt by the murderer to take his own life.

Huntley was jailed for 40 years for the the murders of Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman, both 10, in Soham, Cambs, in August 2002.

At the 2003 trial of the former secondary school caretaker and his then girlfriend Maxine Carr it emerged that he had met the two girls as they walked past his home.

He then enticed them inside and killed them before hiding their remains.

Since being in prison Huntley has attempted suicide on at least two other occasions.

His first bid to take his own life happened while he was on remand at Woodhill jail in Milton Keynes in 2003. He had stored 29 pills in a box of tea bags.

He made another attempt in September last year. On that occasion, Huntley had to have his stomach pumped and was put under heavy sedation after being found unconscious and taken to Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

The Prison Service refused to say today where Huntley was taken following the latest attempt at suicide

Whilst in prison, Huntley has also been subjected to attacks from fellow inmates.

The latest suicide attempt comes a day before the second anniversary of a ruling in the High Court that Huntley had to face a minimum of 40 years behind bars.

It is also likely to lead to questions over the Prison Service’s supervision of one of Britain’s highest profile murderers.

A report into the 2003 suicide attempt found that Huntley was “an ongoing significant risk of self-harm”.

“In managing him, the safest strategy is to assume he will commit another act of self-harm if given the opportunity,” the incident report concluded.

Editor of the Prisons Handbook, Mark Leech, said: “This is a dreadful story for the Prison Service and a huge embarrassment for them, particularly as Huntley is the highest possible security category.

“It is going to require some heads to be banged together to sort this out - they really must get to grips with it because this is not the first time, by any means, that Huntley has tried to take his own life.

“If necessary any medication should be given by injection.”

It is unclear whether the Soham murderer is receiving prescription drugs and, if so, whether they are in tablet form or as a liquid.

Mr Leech said it is not uncommon for inmates to trade medication even if it has been given in liquid form, with prison nurses checking that each dose has been swallowed.

He said inmates addicted to heroin and receiving methadone liquid will vomit the drug soon after swallowing the dose, and then sell it to other inmates.

“It could be a variation of this technique which Huntley has used to stockpile medication,” said the prisons expert, who himself spent time in custody for armed robbery.

He renewed calls for voluntary euthanasia for inmates who are serving life sentences or very long minimum terms.

At Huntley’s last suicide attempt, Mr Leech said such a move would be humane for suicidal inmates and could also provide “closure” for bereaved relatives of murder victims.

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