Remembering Pauline: Six Years On…

Benjamin Zephaniah & Pauline Campbelloriginally published: 14 May 2013

Pauline Campbell was found dead on 15th May 2008, lying on the grave of her daughter Sarah. Sarah tragically died in January 2003 whilst in HMP Styal.

Sign the book of condolence here >

Picture: Pauline Campbell with Benjamin Zephaniah, Cousin of Mikey Powell @ the ‘Moving Forward Together’ event, Birmingham, 2005.

4WardEver UK set up a website in memory of Pauline shortly after her death was announced, and maintains this site in her honour and to ensure that stories related to the deaths of women and young girls within the prison and psychiatric system are kept in the public eye.

Tippa Naphtali, of 4WardEver and The Friends of Mikey Powell Campaign said; “Pauline was the type of person that if you only ever met once you would be sure never to forget. This had a more worrying connotation for Government officials and departments and authorities within the prison and mental health service, and she became a most forceful and articulate thorn in their side forcing home the message that deaths in the prison and psychiatric system simply had to be addressed.”

“We remember her with great honour and with great sadness and a deep sense of loss.”

Her grief and anger at the horrendous circumstances in which her daughter died and the insensitive way she, as a bereaved parent, was treated after the death motivated her tireless campaigning to expose the continuing death toll in women’s prisons.

In March 2006 Pauline told 4WardEver UK; “My 18-year-old daughter, Sarah, died while on ‘suicide watch’ in the so-called care of HMP and YOI Styal, Cheshire, in January 2003. She experienced Styal’s brutal regime for just 24 hours before dying of prescription anti-depressant drug poisoning.

“Despite knowing that she had ingested an overdose, prison staff (including a nurse) walked out of the cell, locked the door, and left her alone. She vomited blood and vomit while alone in the cell. There was a delay of 40 minutes before an ambulance was summoned. On arrival at the prison gates, it was held up for eight minutes before being allowed in.

“In that brief 24 hours in the ‘care’ of Styal, Sarah was vomiting, fitting, suffered several cardiac arrests, and was bleeding from the nose and mouth when she died. The jury did not return a “suicide” verdict, but said a “failure in the duty of care” had contributed to her death, and there had been “avoidable delays” in summoning the ambulance.”

Read full article >

Related News:

INQUEST’s tribute to Pauline
June 2008

A tribute to Pauline Campbell
The F Word
16th May 2008

Sixty second interview with Pauline Campbell
Community Care UK
26th January 2005

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About 4WardEver UK

4WardEver UK is a community collective providing news and information sharing services for our readers and members. We support the call for police, penal and mental health reforms in the UK and internationally. “Keep Informed – Keep up the Struggle” Our activities and on-line services are managed by a small dedicated team of volunteers: Established in 2005.

Posted on 14/05/2013, in Personal, Remembrance. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. From what I have come to know of this courageous and tragic lady she is most certainly an inspiration to many women. Pauline exemplified the two extremes of strength and frailty that we all wrestle with throughout our lives.

    But what she also symbolizes despite the sadness of her passing, is that whatever time you have on this earth, you must use it to its fullest extent not just in the pursuit of happiness, but also for justice.

    Bless you Lady Campbell

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