Paul Martin Jordan, who had been found guilty of murdering his wife, “could not live with himself and what he’d done to his family” a former inmate who became a friend said
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A man was said to have been “struggling terribly” after being jailed for murdering his estranged wife and “just couldn’t live without her”, an inquest heard.
Paul Martin Jordan was previously found guilty of killing Elizabeth Jordan and was ordered to serve a minimum of 14 years before being eligible for parole.
Earlier this week, an inquest into the 54-year-old’s death began after he was found dead in his cell at HMP Altcourse on July 6, 2018, reported the Liverpool Echo.
On February 24 at Gerard Majella Courthouse in Liverpool, assistant coroner David Lewis heard from witness Stuart Sumnall, who was a former inmate and friend of Jordan in the months leading up to his death.
Mr Sumnall first met Jordan on the Foinavon Red wing, a unit for enhanced prisoners for good behaviour.
The hearing heard how Jordan was a “joker” and “always had something nice or funny to say”.
But as their friendship grew, Mr Sumnall said Jordan would regularly talk about his daughter, son and wife and “how bad he feels and what it’s done to the family”.
He added Jordan would “sometimes break down”.
At the start of their friendship, Mr Sumnall said he had reason to believe Jordan had “attempted self-harm” and told the prison officers about those concerns.
The hearing heard how Jordan would regularly spend time at the health care unit and would be on and off ACCT support.
ACCT is the assessment, care in custody and teamwork process whereby a prisoner is placed on if a member of staff have reason to believe they are “in crisis”.
Mr Sumnall said Jordan was “on and off” these ACCTs, adding that he “just couldn’t live with himself and what he’d done to his family”.
In the weeks prior to his death, the hearing heard how the 54-year-old became “unkempt” and said “he didn’t want to live without his wife”.
North Wales Police)
Mr Sumnall told the court: “I should’ve noticed the signs, I blame myself.”
The former inmate went on to say the night of the death there was “skeleton staff” and the regular checks were “not done as they would’ve seen Paul”.
Coroner David Lewis confirmed the checks on prisoners had not been done during the early hours of that morning, as heard earlier this week.
Night shifts see less staff, but regular checks on prisoners should still be made at certain times throughout.
The hearing heard how his crime was “tearing him apart”, but Mr Sumnall was unaware if his friend had seen a counsellor as “it was hard to see the people you want to see”.
Mr Scott Matthewson, who was representing the prison at the inquest, told Mr Sumnall that the night before there was no suggestion Jordan was “in crisis”.
However, Mr Sumnall said “more could’ve been done”.
Inmate and close friend Jason Cooper, who is now a prisoner at HMP Berwyn, said he first Met Mr Jordan before his trial in 2017.
He said he was “struggling terribly” by what he’d done and became “withdrawn and depressed” when he was found guilty of murder, believing he would be “found guilty of manslaughter”.
The hearing heard Jordan found it “difficult” adapting to life in prison and “didn’t know how to live in that environment”.
Cooper went on to say it had “knocked the life out of him” and the way he was “as a man seemed to shrink”.
Jordan was said to have “stopped caring about his appearance” and was a “man who looked like he’d given up”, comparing himself to Hannibal Lecter.
Despite requests to seek support for his mental health in the weeks before his death, the hearing heard how there was “only one counsellor available in an emergency” due to staff absence.
Cooper added in the two weeks prior to his death, Jordan was “very erratic” and would “come out with very strange things” such as ‘not being here for Christmas’.
Prison outreach worker, Paul Brown, said Jordan was “remorseful and very emotional” after murdering the woman he “absolutely loved and adored”.
The hearing heard he believed he’d be looked at as a “horrible, evil person” after his sentence.
The inquest will continue on February 25.