Wife killer among nine dead at prison in two months

David Maggs
David Maggs, who was jailed for a minimum of 20 years for murdering his wife, has died in prison [Gwent Police]

A man who murdered his wife is among two further deaths at a prison in which nine inmates have died in just over two months.

David Maggs, 73, and Michael Horton, 19, died within an hour of each other at HMP Parc in Bridgend on Tuesday.

It comes as Prisons and Probation Ombudsman Adrian Usher said he is investigating 13 deaths in total.

Bridgend MS Sarah Murphy said these further deaths show the situation at the prison is "getting out of control".

A prison spokesperson said the deaths were unrelated.

"I am saddened by this high number, but I am now also concerned by the increase," Mr Usher added.

Maggs was jailed in 2022 after stabbing his wife, Linda Maggs, at least 15 times in her neck, chest and hands at their home in Pontypool.

He was found guilty of murdering his wife following a trial.

Sentencing, Judge Michael Fitton KC told him: "You were bitter and angry with life and you took out that inner anger and resentment on Linda on the day you killed her.

"She died in pain and terror. You left the room without checking to see if she was dead or alive."

He was sentenced to life with 20 years' minimum imprisonment.

The latest deaths follow six others at the prison within a three-week period from the end of a February and one within the last week.

In March, South Wales Police said four of the previous deaths were believed to be drug related and inmates were urged to throw away their drugs by the prison watchdog.

All four of these deaths involved the synthetic opioid nitazene, with two of those also involving the synthetic drug called spice.

On Tuesday a police spokesperson said: "Investigations are continuing into the circumstances surrounding the deaths, however at this time they are not believed to be suspicious.

"It will be for HM Coroner to give a determination on the cause of death."

Parc Prison drone shot
Parc Prison is a category B local prison which opened in 1997 and holds convicted male adult and young offenders and convicted and remand sex offenders [BBC]

Welsh government chief whip Jane Hutt said the deaths are "very sad and tragic" and that "operational responsibility" for the prison lies with the UK government.

However, she said the Welsh government, Public Health Wales and HM Prison and Probation Service "met and discussed the tragic deaths and an agreed set of actions is being taken forward to help mitigate the risk of future harm".