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Inquest probes Blunkett's draconian legacy as Home Secretary

AN INQUEST into the death of a mentally ill woman at Peterborough prison opened today, in a case that casts further doubt on a draconian custodial power introduced by David Blunkett when he was home secretary.

Charlotte “Charlie” Nokes, a 38-year-old from the seaside town of Hayling Island, was found unresponsive in her cell in 2016.

She was serving an indefinite Imprisonment for Public Protection sentence, a controversial custodial measure introduced by New Labour which meant prisoners never knew when or if they would ever be released.

It was scrapped by the Tory-Liberal coalition in 2012 but this abolition only applied to new prisoners.

Ms Nokes had spent more than eight years in jail when she died despite being sentenced to a minimum term of just 15 months.

Her death is being investigated by Simon Milburn, assistant coroner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, at an inquest that is expected to last all week at Huntingdon Town Hall.


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