A prisoner who was jailed for more than six years for the attempted murder of a woman for whom he was an unofficial carer, died at Erlestoke Prison.

Michael Wilkes, 74, from Cornwall, died on January 29, 2020 from natural causes. He suffered a hypoxic brain injury after banging his head during a heart attack at HMP Erlestoke near Devizes.

A report into his death by Sue McAllister, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman, found that his clinical care was not equivalent to what he could have expected to receive in the community.

She said: “It is a matter of serious concern that the prison healthcare team missed crucial opportunities to identify and treat his heightened risk of cardiovascular disease, which might have prevented his death.

“Poor judgement and inadequate training meant that there was a significant delay in Mr Wilkes receiving emergency medical treatment from paramedics after his collapse.

"Again, an effective emergency response might have prevented Mr Wilkes’ death.”

Mr Wilkes was serving six years and eight months for attempted murder of his friend Lynette Newell on December 19, 2016.

Plymouth Crown Court was told that the couple had argued about which town to visit. Mrs Newell had wanted to go to Camborne.

Wilkes, then aged 71, stabbed his friend in the neck several times while saying that he wanted to kill her.

He had been in prison since 2016. He transferred to HMP Erlestoke on April 4, 2017 when he had no significant pre-existing medical conditions.

Wilkes, from Nancegollan, Helston, pleaded guilty to attempted murder, after admitting to police that he stabbed Mrs Newell when he lost his temper.

At Plymouth Crown Court in February 2017, Wilkes was sentenced to six years and eight months for the attack which left his friend scarred and traumatised.

Wilkes had been an unofficial carer to Mrs Newell, who suffers from several serious medical conditions.

At the time of the assault Wilkes had been driving his vehicle when he suddenly pulled over to the side of the road.

When Mrs Newell asked why he had done this Wilkes grabbed a knife which was in the vehicle and proceeded to stab her repeatedly.

Throughout the sustained attack Wilkes told Mrs Newell that he wanted to kill her, but later handed himself in to the police.

The police at the station in Camborne reacted immediately and were able to perform life-saving first aid to Mrs Newell, and gather crucial evidence which led to Wilkes' conviction.

DC Ella Clarke, investigating officer, said: "This is an excellent outcome for what could very easily have been a full murder investigation.

"Due to an incredible response from officers at Camborne Police Station, Mrs Newell's life was saved.

"Wilkes was arrested at the earliest opportunity, and evidence against him was secured.

"He was convicted at Plymouth Crown Court and sentenced to six years and eight months immediate custody.”