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Stab-accused found dead at Gloucester prison

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: January 21, 2013

A 58-year-old man due to stand trial for attempting to stab his estranged wife and her partner to death has been found dead in prison.

Peter Mason, who was on remand in jail awaiting trial, was found by staff at HMP Gloucester last night, the Prison Service said.

Attempts to resuscitate him failed and he was pronounced dead a short time later.

His death is now the subject of an independent investigation by the prisons ombudsman.

Mason appeared at Worcester Crown Court last year charged with the attempted murder of both his estranged wife Deborah Mason and her new partner Michael Longden outside the home they shared in Ledbury, Herefordshire, on July 1.

Both suffered multiple stab wounds during the attack.

He denied the charges, and further offences of wounding with intent to cause them grievous bodily harm and of possessing an offensive weapon, namely a knife.

Mason, a senior manager with computer firm Hewlett Packard and from Newark in Nottinghamshire, was married for 10 years and had two children.

His trial had been scheduled to begin on April 1.

A Prison Service spokesman said: "HMP Gloucester prisoner Peter Mason was found at 6.48pm on January 19, 2013.

"Staff attempted CPR and paramedics attended, but he was pronounced dead at 7.20pm.

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

The PPO is expected to begin its investigation immediately and will hand its findings to the coroner in due course, before making public a full report following the conclusion of an inquest into Mason's death.

The ombudsman's job is to answer any questions relatives may have surrounding the circumstances of any death in prison custody, and as to whether any lessons can be learned by the prison and associated services.

Gloucester prison will close by the end of March, the Ministry of Justice confirmed just over a week ago.

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