Page last updated at 17:03 GMT, Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Prisoner due for release hanged

A 27-year-old prisoner due for release as early as next week has died after he was found hanging in his cell.

Gareth Thomas, who was serving a two-month, 18-day sentence for theft and non-payment of fines, was found hanging by HMP Cardiff staff early on Tuesday.

An inquiry has been launched by the prisons and probation ombudsman.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said staff attended to him, but he was pronounced dead about 90 minutes after he was found.

Mr Thomas had been serving a sentence of two months and 18 days.

The Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "HMP Cardiff prisoner Gareth Thomas was found hanging in his cell at 7.45am on Tuesday March 10.

"Staff attended but Mr Thomas was pronounced dead at 9.14am.

"Our thoughts are with the family and friends of Mr Thomas.

"As with all deaths in custody, the prisons and probation ombudsman will conduct an investigation."

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