THE family of an immigration detainee who died on the day he was set for release from a privately run jail in Liverpool have spoken out after the inquest into his death concluded, with the Coroner calling for lessons to be learned by the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice.

Polish-national Michal Netyks, 35, whose partner and family live in the Wrexham area, had been serving a short sentence at the G4S run prison. He was found dead on December 7 last year, and was the 11th immigration detainee to die nationally in 2017.

Following an inquest, the inquest jury concluded that Mr Netyks' death was the result of suicide, which was in part contributed to by the immigration deportation process.

The jury recorded a detailed narrative conclusion setting out the events leading up to Mr Netyks' death, and found that on the day he was due to be released he had packed his belongings and was looking forward to reconciling with his partner.

However, on the morning of December 7, the Pole, who worked as a forklift truck driver for a dairies company, was served with a notice that he would be detained pending possible deportation to his homeland. The jury found that he died due to a blunt force head injury at 12:33pm that day after jumping headfirst from a first-floor landing at HMP Altcourse.

Senior Coroner André Rebello issued a report to prevent future deaths, calling on the Home Office and Ministry of Justice to address matters of concern raised during the inquest. The concerns outlined by the Coroner included that foreign nationals who are liable for deportation have no access to free legal advice, for example through duty lawyer schemes if they are not detained in an immigration detention centre, and that the evidence indicated that Mr Netyks was working and had a family life in Wales before his sentence, and it appeared unfair that he was required to provide evidence of this whilst in prison when the Home Office could easily have checked with HMRC or Mr Netyks' employer.

Mr Rebello also raised the fact that during the inquest, the Home Office disclosed partially redacted notes which indicated that records had been deleted by senior management, with the Coroner finding this "needs investigation and an explanation as its effect is to manipulate statistics – it appears to be almost a denial of the facts."

In addition the Coroner also said that prison officers required to serve papers related to deportation "would be more effective if they were provided with a training package, making them aware of the deportation process" by the Home Office.

The inquest also heard that the Ministry of Justice will review the design of the prison in relation to provision of safety netting and the railings on the landing which Mr Netyks had climbed and jumped from. The Coroner asked for confirmation of the outcome of this review.

The eight-day inquest at Liverpool and Wirral Coroners Court heard that Mr Netyks died from a head injury after jumping from the first-floor.

On the day of his death, Mr Netyks was originally set for release from prison, however hours before he took his own life he had received paperwork from the Home Office that said he would remain in custody at Altcourse pending possible deportation to Poland.

Arthur Netyks, the dead man’s brother, said: “I miss my brother daily and the inquest has been a difficult time. However we are glad that we have been given some answers now for whether more could have been done to help my brother.

“When Michał came to the United Kingdom he was a young man full of faith and hope for a better future. Unfortunately right before his incarceration his life had hit a rough patch, which resulted in him being sentenced to a short imprisonment at Altcourse prison.

“A year on from Michal’s death, the family remains devastated by our loss and we find it worrying that there have been so many immigration detainee deaths in the same year.”

Oliver Carter, the public law specialist at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “The inquest has been a deeply emotional time for Michal’s family. Hearing about his final hours, and reliving their devastating loss has been traumatising and upsetting.

“The jury heard that Michal was looking forward to being released from prison on 7 December 2017, restarting his life in the UK and his relationship with his partner. Unfortunately, he was only told that morning that the Home Office would be detaining him beyond his release date.

“The jury heard that Michal was told he would be removed from the UK, but he is unlikely to have understood that he had a right to appeal the decision to deport him. The documents from the Home Office were only provided to him in English, and the immigration officer who was present in the prison that day did not speak to Michal.

“We know Michal would have found it difficult to access specialist legal advice to appeal against deportation, but with advice from an immigration lawyer he could have proved to the Home Office that he had been living and working in the UK for 12 years and that he should not be deported.

“Tragically, just hours after being told that he wouldn’t be released, Michal jumped from the first floor landing in the prison and suffered a fatal head injury.

“While nothing will change what they have been through, the inquest has raised important points regarding the support Michal was given after he received the paperwork from the Home Office. Hopefully these lessons will be learned not just here but nationally too. We will continue to work with Michal’s family, and ensure they receive the support they need.”

Róża and Ryszard Netyks, Mr Netyks' parents, said: “Michal’s death was a blow that shattered both our lives. To this day we find it extremely difficult to cope with the absence of our beloved son from our lives and keep wondering about the circumstances of his death.

“Therefore we would like to express our deep gratitude to Senior Coroner André Rebello and the members of the jury for the time and effort they took to peer into the circumstances surrounding the death of our son, as well as to the office of the Prisons & Probation Ombudsman for the time they spent on the case.

“We would also like to express our gratefulness to the legal team involved in the proceedings, solicitor Oliver Carter of Irwin Mitchell Solicitors and barrister James Dixon, for their help in dealing with this tragic matter as well as Anita Sharma and the INQUEST charity for their support.

“Nothing will bring back the light that our son brought into our lives. However we are hoping that the findings from the Inquest into his death will lead to conclusions that will, in the future, help to save the lives of others under similar circumstances as Michał.”