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Last Updated: Wednesday, 29 August 2007, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Man found hanged in prison cell
HMP Acklington
HMP Acklington is a Category C jail
An inmate has been found hanged in his cell at a Northumberland prison.

William Stuart Laidlaw was pronounced dead after he was discovered hanging from a ligature at HMP Acklington, near Morpeth, on Wednesday morning.

It is believed the 39-year-old's cell was unlocked two hours later than usual because of the prison officers' strike.

A lawyer for the Ministry of Justice said he was not making a link between the strike action and the death. An investigation will be carried out.

Aggravated burglary

A Prison Service spokesman said: "Every death in custody is a tragedy, and our sympathies are with the family of Mr Laidlaw at this time.

"As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation."

Laidlaw was convicted of aggravated burglary and sentenced to four-and-a-half years.

He had previously been released on licence but was returned to prison for breach of licence conditions on 7 July, and was due for release in March 2009.

The government was granted a High Court injunction against the surprise strike action by prison officers on Wednesday afternoon.

The Prison Officers' Association is in dispute with the government over a recent pay offer.

The prison where the incident occurred


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