An inquest into the death of a man from Wembley found hanging from his cell in Wormwood Scrubs has opened.

Prison guards found 24-year-old Ranique Edwards on the morning of June 15 2015.

He had spoken to friends and family about taking his life, and a note was also found in his cell.

But his mother Maureen Weelbeck said it was inconceivable that her son took his own life, insisting it was “not in black Jamaican culture” to do such a thing.

She suspects Edwards, who she described as loving, caring, funny and a gentleman, was beaten and hanged at the Du Cane Road prison near White City, despite a postmortem showing nothing to support her beliefs.

West London Coroner's Court in Fulham

The inquest at West London Coroners’ Court in Bagleys Lane, Fulham, opened on Monday (October 3). It is expected to last two weeks and is being heard in front of a jury of seven women and four men.

Coroner Jason Pegg told the court that Edwards had been in custody since November 3 2014, and was awaiting sentencing when he died, having been convicted of a “serious” offence in April 2015.

The father had been told by his solicitor to expect a jail term of around 12 years, but a sentencing hearing had been twice adjourned until June 12 and then July 24.

Recounting a telephone conversation she had with her son following the one-week trial, which was heard at Harrow Crown Court, Ms Weelbeck said he was devastated and crying and had told her: “I’m fed up, I’m going to kill myself. It’s the best way out.”

Prison guards describe 'chaos' after finding prisoner hanged in Wormwood Scrubs cell

But she insisted her son did not kill himself, despite the conversation and the note found in his single cell

He had also left two voicemail messages the day before he died - on June 14 - with close friends and family where he spoke of suicide.

She said her son had been killed and added: “It’s not in his culture to kill his own self. It’s not in black Jamaican.

“As a parent you have to protect your son but why didn’t the prison protect my son?”

She continued: “He loved his daughter so much. He was longing to see her, he was thinking about her the whole time.

“There’s no way my son can would ever take his own life. He didn’t have it in his head to kill himself, knowing that he had a child outside that he loved so much.”

During the first day of the inquest, Mr Pegg also read out a postmortem report by pathologist Robert Chapman. It stated that apart from wounds to his neck and a cracked rib which occurred as prison staff attempted to resuscitate the inmate, there was no evidence of external bruising or signs of attack on Edwards.

It gave the medical cause of death as hanging.

During the inquest the jury will scrutinise the circumstance of Edwards’ death at the Grade II-listed prison.

A report published in September revealed safety concerns among staff and prisoner deaths at the Victorian-built prison .

The inquest continues.

Watch couple try to smuggle contraband into Wormwood Scrubs

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