Caden Stewart found dying in cell hours after asking for medical help


Caden Stewart’s family said he was an ‘outgoing’ boy who ‘loved helping people’

A 16-year-old boy who died in the custody of the prison service was found lying unresponsive in his cell hours after asking for medical help, an inquest has heard.

Caden Stewart complained about a headache after playing football and lifting weights at Cookham Wood Young Offenders’ Institute, Kent, in June 2019.

The inquest, which is taking place before a jury, heard that he pressed the emergency bell in his cell later that afternoon asking to see healthcare staff.

Senior Coroner Patricia Harding told jurors he was seen by prison staff but nobody from the healthcare team.

Caden later collapsed from a brain haemorrhage but was not discovered until 8.50pm when an officer conducting a roll call looked through the observation panel in his door, the court heard.

Ms Harding continued: ‘He was lying on the floor. She could not get a response from him.’

Medical staff then arrived at the scene with other officers and called an ambulance, which took him to Medway Maritime Hospital.

He was transferred to King’s College Hospital in south London, where he received emergency treatment after a scan showed bleeding on the brain, but died the following day.

A post-mortem examination revealed the immediate cause of death was a ‘massive haemorrhage’ in Caden’s brain caused by an uncommon abnormality called arteriovenous malformation (AVM).

Pathologist Dr Deirdre McKenna said he could have received appropriate treatment earlier had he been given a CT scan when he reported having a headache but would not comment on whether this would have saved his life.

She added that she saw no indication of trauma or third party involvement in Caden’s death.

The 16-year-old’s mum, who attended the inquest with his dad and sister, described him as an ‘outgoing, vivacious person’ with a ‘great sense of humour’ in a statement read out to jurors.

She said that ‘like anyone he had a good and bad side’ but added: ‘He loved helping people, it was always a part of him.’

The inquest continues.

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