Sex offender’s plea after he is jailed in cell where stepson hanged himself

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A STEPDAD jailed for grooming a teenage girl has slammed prison chiefs for making him serve his sentence just metres from where his stepson killed himself.

The body of Kirk Floyd Duboise was found hanged in his cell in Durham Prison earlier this year, hours after he was remanded in custody by Peterlee magistrates.

An inquest into his death heard that prison officers had failed to open a care action plan in the hours leading up to his death.

Now, his stepdad, Matthew Spurgeon, has written a letter criticising prison officers, saying he has “endured hell”.

Spurgeon, 32, of Dormand Court, Wingate, is currently serving a 37-month prison term after he admitted grooming a teenage girl and attempting to sexually assault her.

In a letter to the Inside Time website, Spurgeon mentioned the night he was told Mr Duboise had died.

He wrote: “I fell to pieces – I have never felt such pain in my life. Nine months on I’m sat in a cell exactly like the one my son died in. Was Kirk a lifer? No. Previously in trouble? No. He was a first-time offender, never even been arrested before.

“How many (people) have been punished? Zero.

“But I have been punished, not just losing my son and seeing my world fall apart, but also placed – five months to the day – in Durham prison 200 metres from where my son died, for 19 long days.

“The hell I mentally endured was a killer.

“All Kirk was to the prison service was a number, now he is a mistake they need to cover up.” 
 A care plan file was not opened by staff after Mr Duboise, of Tees Street, in Horden, was remanded in custody.

Following the inquest into his death, County Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle said he would be writing to the prison service to raise concerns about issues at HMP Durham.

A spokesman for the Prison Service said: “We take the responsibility for keeping prisoners safe extremely seriously, and strenuous efforts are made to learn from each death.

“We will consider the findings of this inquest to see what lessons can be learned in addition to the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman’s investigation.”