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Death was cruel and unnecessary - family
THE family of a sex offender who was butchered behind bars say they have been “shattered”
by his horrific death.
Mitchell Harrison was murdered in a prison cell in Frankland Prison, near Durham City, in October last year.
Yesterday, killers Michael Parr and Nathan Mann were jailed for life at Newcastle Crown Court for his murder.
Meanwhile, an independent investigation is being carried out by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman into how the crime came to be committed inside one of Britain’s highest security prisons, housing more than 800 of the country’s most dangerous criminals.
Harrison, originally from Wolverhampton, was jailed at Carlisle Crown Court in January 2010.
In August 2009, when he was 20, he lured a 13-year-old girl to a flat in Kendal, Cumbria, where he raped her twice before she escaped by running naked into the street. By that time he already had a criminal record, having been given an official warning in 2001 for indecently assaulting a sevenyear- old girl.
Yesterday, as his killers started a second life sentence and details of the murder emerged, the victim’s family released a statement expressing their horror.
They said: “Our lives have been shattered by Mitchell’s horrific murder.
“His death was cruel and unnecessary. As his family, we live with the pain and heartache that losing Mitchell has caused us.
“Now that criminal proceedings are over we await the outcome of the Ombudsman’s review of the Prison Service so that we can find out how this terrible crime was allowed to happen.”
Speaking immediately after the hearing, Detective Chief Inspector Steve Chapman, who led the police investigation into the killing, said: “Mitchell Harrison was a young man who was by all accounts a model prisoner at HMP Frankland.
“Although his family never condoned his past actions, he was still their much-loved son and brother and they were supporting him as he served his custodial sentence.
“His untimely death, and the horrific nature of it, left his family devastated.”
The Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will issue a report after an inquest is held into Harrison’s death, which is likely to take several months.
A spokeswoman said: “An investigation has been opened which will inform the coroner’s inquest and the report will be published shortly afterwards.
“Our investigation tries to provide answers to family and friends about what happened and, if failings are found, give recommendations as to what lessons should be learnt.”