CHELMSFORD Prison has been criticised over the death of a teenage remand prisoner.

Eighteen-year-old Billy Coulson hanged himself in his cell at the prison in September 2008.

A inquest jury at Chelmsford, after hearing eight days of evidence, returned a verdict on Thursday, April 14, that Billy killed himself.

But they added a narrative to the verdict which said there was “insufficient sharing of vital information at a variety of stages while Billy was in custody with serious communication failings within Chemsford Prison”.

It went on: “There were missed opportunities to act on information provided by people who worked closely with and knew Billy better than others.”

And it concluded: “This resulted in insufficient action being taken, including the failure to open an ACCT form on numerous occasions.”

The jury heard Billy, from Stratford, had tried to kill himself at least five times before he arrived at Chelmsford.

He had been put on suicide watch at Feltham young offenders centre just a few months before being arrested in September 2008 and remanded to Chelmsford Prison.

Members of his youth offending team contacted the prison to express their concerns, but this was not acted upon, the inquest heard.

He was found hanging from sheeting torn from his bedding on September 20.

The inquest had heard an Asessment, Care in Custody Teamwork was not taken out on Billy. The ACCT is set up when a prisoner is at risk of suicide.

Deputy coroner Eleanor McCann said evidence from the governor showed two new computer systems were now in place which would have flagged up concerns about the teenager.

“I hope this is the last death in Chelmsford Prison in this way,” said Mrs McCann.