Jailed Blackpool woman dies after emergency services called to prison

Imogen Mellor
Imogen Mellor
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A woman jailed for beating up a massage parlour boss with a rubber hammer in Blackpool has died.

Imogen Mellor, 29, died in Wythenshawe Hospital on June 4, shortly after emergency services were called to HMP Styal, a women's only prison in Cheshire.

Cheshire Police said emergency services had been called to reports of an 'attempted suicide'. Ambulance services confirmed they attended.

An inquest to determine the cause of death will take place at a later date.

An independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will also take place.

News articles from January this year reported that Ms Mellor had appeared in Preston Crown Court for hitting her massage parlour boss with a rubber hammer following a confrontation. Ms Mellor, who had been living on the Blackpool premises, had been ordered to leave by the victim after he discovered she had been secretly allowing her partner, Zoe Hickey, to stay over.

It was reported that she, along with Ms Hickey, took £220 cash and evaded cops for ten days in a 'Thelma and Louise' style raid.

Ms Mellor, of no fixed abode, was sentenced to 21 months in prison after she pleading to unlawful wounding and theft, and Hickey was sentenced to 12 months in prison after pleading guilty to theft at Preston Crown Court.

In April, Fylde Police reported that Ms Mellor had breached her early release licence conditions after being granted early release, and was wanted in the Blackpool area.

Her death is the second reported at HMP Styal this year.

In February, Nicola Birchall, 41, died while in custody at the prison. Her death is not being treated as suspicious.

A Cheshire Police spokesman said: "At 4:50pm on Monday, June 4, police were called to reports of an attempted suicide at HMP Styal in Wilmslow. Officers attended and a 29-year-old woman was taken to Wythenshaw Hospital where she died.

"There are no suspicious circumstances and a file has been prepared for the coroner."

A Prison Service spokesman said: “As with all deaths in custody there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

“Our sincere condolences are with Ms Mellor’s family and friends at this difficult time.”