A Powys man who was found unconscious in his prison cell died in hospital only less than a month after being sent to jail, a pre-inquest review into his death has heard.

Shane Davies, who had lived in both Llandrindod and Rhayader, was 33 years old when he was weeks into serving a 25-month prison sentence at HMP Cardiff for a string of drug offences including supplying Class A drug methadone and possessing heroin.

Attempts were made to save his life after he was found unresponsive inside his cell, but he later died in hospital on August 28.

A pre-inquest review hearing at Pontypridd Coroner's Court on Thursday, May 9, was told that a jury will hear evidence during an eight-day inquest later this year into how Mr Davies died.


Assistant coroner David Regan explained that the inquest will hear evidence about the period of time that the 33-year-old could have been saved after he was found in a "very compromised state".

It is expected to hear evidence, both read and in-person, from at least 20 witnesses including healthcare professionals and prison staff.

The coroner added that the evidence of one witness, a nurse who had contact with Davies on the evening he died, was "quite central to what happened on that night".

"She's very important by way of evidence she can give," Mr Regan said. "I would want, if possible, for the jury to hear her evidence."

He added that Mr Davies' fellow prisoner had given evidence to the court about the 33-year-old's behaviour which "would have been known by prison staff at that stage".

The hearing was told that writing was found on Mr Davies' desk, and CCTV and body worn footage was available from the night he was found and of paramedics arriving to help.

What happens at an inquest and what can the press report?

Reporting on inquests is one of the most difficult jobs faced by any journalist, but there are important reasons why local newspapers attend coroner’s court hearings and report on proceedings.

Here we will try and answer some of your questions about what will happen, what can be reported and why.

Mr Regan told Mr Davies' mother at the hearing that CCTV footage showed the landing outside her son's cell. He said: "In this case there were no relevant interactions from outside except for people to attend the door and did things."

Mr Regan added that the body worn footage related to early interactions and efforts to save Mr Davies, and would only be played in court "if it's absolutely necessary".

The prisoner's mother Karen Davies tearfully explained to the assistant coroner that she had concerns with the care provided at HMP Bristol where her son was being held on remand while waiting for his trial at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court in 2022.

"He knew he was potentially going to Cardiff prison. He had been struggling to get prescribed medication," Ms Davies said.

"He rang me a few times to call the prison on his behalf to tell them how much he needed them. That was difficult. I wrote to the prison.

"Shane said in the end 'it's OK because when I get to Cardiff, they'll sort me out there'. That's why if it was in place in Bristol, he may have been on his medication already".

The coroner said he wanted Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, who were the contract providers at the relevant time, to understand Ms Davies' question. However, he added that the treatment Mr Davies was receiving at the time of his death was "within Cardiff's control".


If you would like any help with bereavement, loss or mental wellbeing, here are some helpline numbers

  • You can call the Samaritans on 116 123
  • Papyrus Hopeline on 0800 068 4141
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) on 0800 58 58 58