A sex offender who was suffering from throat cancer died in prison from bronchopneumonia before compassionate leave was able to be granted.  

Elliott Matthews, from Burnley, was jailed for 12 years on November 15, 2022, for a number of sexual offences, including rape, assault by penetration and strangulation.

But just 10 months into his sentence, while a prisoner at HMP Preston, he died from bronchopneumonia, caused by advanced cancer of the throat.

He was 52-years-old.

A report following an investigation into his death compiled by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) stated that the PPO’s family liaison officer wrote to Matthews’ next of kin to explain the investigation and to ask if they had any matters they wanted to consider.

The report stated: “Matthews’ next of kin asked for information about Mathews’ diagnosis and treatment, and why he was not granted compassionate release.

“NHS England commissioned an independent clinical reviewer to review Matthews’ clinical care at HMP Preston.

“The clinical reviewer concluded that the clinical care Matthews received at HMP Preston was of a good standard and equivalent to what he could have expected to receive in the community.

“The PPO investigator investigated the non-clinical issues relating to Matthews’ care.

“In September 2023, prison staff at Preston started an application for compassionate release.

“The application was not completed before Mr Matthews died.”

Despite this, the PPO said it did not find any non-clinical issues of concern and made no recommendations.

The report went on: “We shared the initial report with Matthew’s family. Matthews’ mother made a number of observations related to the clinical review, which the clinical reviewer has amended.

“The initial report was shared with HM Prison and Probation Service (HMPPS) and HMPPS found no factual inaccuracies. HMPPS made comments about the clinical review.

“The clinical reviewer amended the report in the light of the comments.”

An inquest into Matthews’ death, carried out on May 2, concluded that he died from natural causes.