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No charges for guards over woman who died in prison

A preliminary investigation found no evidence of official misconduct.

Vantaan vankilan portit ja piikkilanka-aitaa
The 35-year-old British national had been detained after allegedly suffocating her two-year-old with a pillow at her home in Espoo in January. Image: Laura Hyyti / Yle

No charges will be filed against a Vantaa prison employee who was suspected of official misconduct in a case, in which a woman remanded in custody took her own life.

The case will not proceed to prosecution, detective inspector of the Eastern Uusimaa Police Timo Luoto told news agency STT.

The woman who was remanded into pre-investigation custody died in prison in February. The 35-year-old British national had been detained after allegedly suffocating her two-year-old with a pillow at her home in Espoo in January. Police were investigating the case as homicide.

During the preliminary investigation launched after her death in prison, it was suspected that prison staff had not supervised the woman well enough. According to Luoto, one of the guards was suspected of dereliction of duty.

No evidence of crime

The preliminary investigation particularly focused on the flow of information between the police and the prison. The question was whether the police had relayed information to the guard about concerns over the detained woman's safety in custody when she was taken to prison.

According to Luoto, the police and the guard had differing views on the matter. However, the investigation found no external evidence proving that any information about the prisoner was conveyed.

"The guard did not act wrongly but acted according to their assessment of the situation," Luoto said.

The preliminary investigation that was concluded recently found no evidence of a violation.

The British national had reportedly told the police during multiple interviews before her death that she tried many times to take her own life.

Tabloid daily Iltalehti had reported that shortly before her death and during her detention, the suspect had been placed in hospital care for attempting to kill herself.

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