A prisoner at HMP Bristol who was on trial for murder has died.
This afternoon (Wednesday, March 4) jurors at the trial of Esam Dawood were told the defendant had taken his own life overnight.
Bristol Live understands 27-year-old Dawood, of Barton Street, Gloucester, was being kept at HMP Bristol at the time of his death.
Dawood was charged with murdering Omar Rashid between August 25 and September 13 last year, Gloucestershire Live reports.
He was also charged with wounding with intent Uche Christian Chikwendu on August 26 last year and having a knife in a public place in Barton Street on the same date.
Judge Picton told jurors there will be a serious incident review about the circumstances into how Dawood took his own life.
On Tuesday, March 3 the court called a forensic psychiatrist to speak to Dawood, who had sacked his legal team and was refusing to come to court.
The jury was told Judge Picton wanted to assess his mental health before proceeding and allowing him to represent himself.
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Consultant forensic psychiatrist Dr Tim Amos told the court it was highly unusual and it was the first time he or any of his colleagues had been called to assess a defendant during the course of a case.
From the limited time he had with the defendant, he did not not believe he had an acute psychiatric condition which affected his fitness to plead and follow the court proceedings.
When Dawood was brought back into the dock on Tuesday, he told the judge through an interpreter he wanted to plead guilty to all charges to get the case over and done with.
Judge Picton asked him if he would talk to a psychiatrist and talk to new lawyers because the decisions he was making in court on Tuesday could have the most serious consequences for him.
The judge apologised to Dawood but said he could not accept the plea in such circumstances.
He told Dawood he had no choice but to make him “sleep on it” and come back on Wednesday, March 4.
The Ministry of Justice has been contacted for comment.
Most people who are thinking of taking their own life have shown warning signs beforehand. These can include becoming depressed, showing sudden changes in behaviour, talking about wanting to die and feelings of hopelessness.
These feelings do improve and can be treated. If you are concerned about someone, or need help yourself, please contact the Samaritans on 116 123.