BBC News - Prisoner who cut own ear found hanged in prison cell

A prisoner, who cut off part of his ear so he could escape from an ambulance, has been found hanged in his cell at HMP Manchester.

The body of Michael O'Donnell, 29, who had been on the run for almost a month before being recaptured on 28 May, was found at 2130 BST on Wednesday.

He was a category A prisoner at risk of self-harm, a prison spokesman said.

Prison staff attempted but failed to resuscitate O'Donnell from Stockport, who was serving nine and a half years.

He was sentenced on 29 May for his part in the theft and selling on of more than 1m of cars, following his recapture at Pontin's in Southport.

A spokesman for HMP Manchester said: "Staff found Mr Michael O'Donnell hanging in his single cell on E Wing. Staff began CPR and an ambulance was called.

"At 22:01hrs paramedics arrived but Mr O'Donnell was pronounced dead at the scene.

"Manchester staff have been out to meet with the next of kin of Mr O'Donnell and our condolences go out to the family and friends of Michael."

An investigation is under way into O'Donnell's death, which occurred on the high security unit of the prison's E wing.

Before his escape he had been on remand at HMP Forest Bank in Salford when he took a razor to his ear.

He was taken to hospital on 2 May, but on the way the ambulance was held up by masked men and O'Donnell escaped.

Doubt many people will be that upset by this, just feel for the prison officers who will face an overly long period under investigation for allowing this convict to end his sentence early.