A prisoner died in a suspected Spice overdose after guards found him unconscious – with his uncle slumped in the same cell.
Officials are probing whether Simon Boyle, 31, who had been serving five years for his role in a garage raid, died after using the zombie synthetic drug.
He was found lying on the floor at 6am by staff carrying out a morning roll check at Holme House jail.
His uncle Richard Boyle, 40, was lying in a coma on a bed near him.
Richard was rushed to hospital in a critical condition but has since been released and allowed to go home.
The circumstances of how the pair came to be together in the same cell in the nick at Stockton-on-Tees, Co Durham, are unclear but it is believed they took Spice.
Richard’s cousin Stacey Spoor said: “It’s such a shame. Richard is alive and well now, he’s talking.”
The Prison Service said an independent investigation would be launched by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman into the death of Simon, who came from Newcastle. But a source said: “Use of Spice is the main line of inquiry.”
It comes months after we revealed nurses had been ordered to stop tending to sick inmates at the jail for fear of exposure to drug fumes. And violence against staff and other cons there has nearly doubled.
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