A STAFFORD Prison officer who hurt his knee while restraining an inmate desperate for cigarettes tragically died from a massive blood clot two months later, an inquest heard.
Stuart Graham Jones, 49, died at Stafford Hospital on October 15 last year after becoming breathless at home.
An inquest in Stafford heard this week he had developed deep vein thrombosis after injuring his knee when a violent prisoner launched an attack on officers on August 16.
In his own statement, made on the day of the attack, Mr Jones said he had been working in the prison’s segregation unit. An inmate became aggressive after being told he would have to remain there for a few extra days and did not have enough cash for cigarettes.
Mr Jones, along with two colleagues, later went to the prisoner’s cell to serve his lunch but he became aggressive and picked up a table to strike at officers and then grabbed at prison officer Ian Donaldson.
They restrained him in the usual way, with Mr Jones in the central position holding his head and his colleagues each holding an arm. They took the prisoner to another cell but he was still agitated.
“I had a left knee injury,” added Mr Jones.
Mr Jones, of Mitcham Close, Hednesford, went to see GP Dr Charlotte Wiley in Cannock as he was having trouble standing on his left knee.
He had suffered a deep vein thrombosis 10 years earlier, the inquest heard, but Dr Wiley said there were no DVT symptoms when she examined him.
She sent him for an X-ray and MRI scan and examined him again in October.
The MRI showed the ligaments of the knee were partially torn. She referred him to consultant orthapaedic surgeon Eric Isbister who advised physiotherapy would be the best treatment. He said there were no clinical signs of DVT.
Dr Terrence Hollingworth, a retired consultant histopathologist, gave the cause of death as pulmonary thrombo embolism, deep vein thrombosis and a knee injury as a contributory factor.
Wayne Owen, an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive, said an investigation revealed the prison officers had followed correct restraint procedures.
The jury returned a verdict that the death was an accident as a result of an unintended act.
Staffordshire South coroner Andrew Haigh said: “This was a tragic accident, which happened so someone working as a prison officer, which can be a very demanding job. I would like to convey my sympathy to the family as he was only doing his job. I am very sorry that a knee injury should lead to such an unfortunate result.”