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Inquiry launched after prison death

PUBLISHED: 08:35 30 July 2009 | UPDATED: 11:09 06 July 2010

OFFICIAL inquiries have begun after a Suffolk man is believed to have taken his own life in Norwich Prison while on remand for murder.

Mariusz Lipinski died within 12 hours of being taken to the Norfolk jail following his first court appearance for allegedly killing his estranged wife Malgorzata Lipinska in a frenzied attack.

OFFICIAL inquiries have begun after a Suffolk man is believed to have taken his own life in Norwich Prison while on remand for murder.

Mariusz Lipinski died within 12 hours of being taken to the Norfolk jail following his first court appearance for allegedly killing his estranged wife Malgorzata Lipinska in a frenzied attack.

Although the Ministry of Justice has refused to even confirm 38-year-old Lipinski's death or if any investigation is being held, Suffolk Probation Service has begun is own inquiry.

A spokeswoman from the Ministry of Justice declined to say whether Lipinski was on suicide watch at the time, as is normal practice with inmates in his position. She also declined to comment on reports that he had died due to self-inflicted cuts to his wrists.

However, Suffolk Probation area chief officer John Budd said: “Suffolk Probation area has started an immediate investigation into the case of Mariusz Lipinski and will be co-operating fully with other agencies involved.

“We will act swiftly with any findings from the investigation until we have concluded our inquiry we cannot comment further on the case.

“In the meantime, we would like to pass on our sincerest condolences to the families that have been bereaved as a result of these tragic circumstances.”

Ten prisoners took their lives at Norwich Prison between 1996 and August 2000 giving it the grim statistic of having one of the worst suicide rates in the country.

In 2005 the Howard League for Penal Reform blamed over-crowding for the seven deaths since the start of 2004.

Its suicide rate reduced to one death in 2006. However, three men were found hanged at the jail from late December 2008 to the end of January this year.

Mrs Lipinska's death from multiple head and body wounds in a stairwell near her flat in Duke Street, Ipswich, last Friday, is also the subject of an investigation after Suffolk Police referred the case to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Officers had attended various incidents involving threats and violence relating to Lipinski and his 38-year-old wife prior to her murder.

Detective Chief Superintendent Stewart Gull, head of Suffolk Constabulary's Protective Services department, said: “This is an extremely tragic incident and our thoughts are with the victim's family and friends.

“We would like to give our reassurances that many positive interventions were put in place in this case.

“However, we have begun putting together a timeline of our contact with both parties and are in the process of establishing the best way to undertake a full multi-agency review.

“We have also voluntarily referred the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) for their consideration.

“This is to establish whether there is anything further that could have been done to protect the victim. Consequently, we are not in a position to comment any further or go into the details of the case at this time.”

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