Mum’s fears for son ‘left in cell’ with suspected coronavirus

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A young prisoner has suspected coronavirus after being found in his cell with blood coming from his nose – but he is not being helped, his mum has claimed.

Leroy Allen, 22, started showing symptoms almost a fortnight ago in HMP Liverpool, she says, and was reportedly discovered by his cellmate in pain on the floor.

The Birkenhead man complained of suffering from severe stomach pains, not being able to breathe, and having a fever.

Allen, serving time for stabbing a 15-year-old boy during a drug-fuelled party, has remained in touch with his mum.

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He has claimed to her that apart from a urine and stool sample, he has received very little treatment.

The inmate, also handed a three year sentence last year for supplying heroin after being found with a £40,000 drugs haul on the M6 motorway, has not been tested for the virus – alarming his family.

Inside HMP Liverpool.

But the Ministry of Justice today said that was normal procedure as it was a decision for Public Health England, and not individual prisons, over who gets the test behind bars.

Mum Sandra Smith, 55, also expressed fears her son had not been taken to a single cell for his own health reasons, and others.

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The MOJ explained a prisoner displaying coronavirus symptoms would not necessarily be isolated into a single cell.

That was to mirror conditions outside in the community, it was added, with people living together not separating at home if they picked up Covid-19.

Ms Smith told the ECHO: "I'm worried sick about Leroy.

"When I get in touch with the prison, they won't speak to me and are refusing to communicate with me.

HMP Prison Liverpool, Walton.

"When I heard from him on the phone yesterday, he seemed really down and anxious himself.

"Why will they not get a doctor to examine him properly?

"How can I get him seen? He's only 22 years old."

Ms Smith also spoke of her upset her son was moved two months ago from HMP Northumberland to Merseyside, adding it had left him at risk.

In the Category C facility, in Acklington, he had a job and was more settled, but had now "gone back to square one," she added.

Leroy Allen, from Birkenhead

Medication which he needed for his ADHD, depression and personality disorder was not being administered, Ms Smith claimed.

The MOJ said medication in custody was often the responsibility of the local NHS Trust, rather than the Prison Service.

In a phone call on Tuesday, the 22-year-old, who got 27 months jail for the house party stabbing, told his mum he still had tell-tale symptoms of coronavirus.

Allen was also a victim of a stabbing himself, in 2016, when, aged 19, he was knifed and covered in blood in front of his screaming seven-year-old niece.

The attack happened following an argument in the street in Bootle.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "We have robust and flexible plans in place keep prisoners, staff and the wider public safe based on the latest advice from Public Health England.

"There are positive early signs that these are proving effective.”

Today's MOJ update, collating figures up to 5pm on Tuesday, showed that 337 prisoners have tested positive for Covid-19, across 71 government-run prisons.

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The number of prison staff having tested positive is 337, across 63 prisons.

Eleven prisoner escort and custody services staff have tested positive.

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