An inquiry is being demanded after a prisoner with a history of self-harming cut off his penis with a razor issued to him by jail guards. Suicidal Peter Smith, 55, was found in his cell covered in blood, with the organ hanging by a thread. Surgeons battled in vain for 26 hours to save it.
Now his family are demanding answers as to why a man with a past history of self-harm was given access to the blade. Just a week earlier he had attempted to slash his left wrist with a piece of plastic while in police custody.
The startling revelations came on the day the Prison Governors Association warned jails in the UK are in crisis.
In an open letter Andrea Albutt, president of the PGA, said its members had been left “devastated at the complete decline of our service”.
She wrote: ”We know many prisons are in crisis and I deliberately use that term, because it can’t be dressed up in any other way.”
The family of Peter Smith, 55, have told the Mirror how he was being held as a remand prisoner when he cut off his penis.
It is understood he used a disposable Bic razor.
He was found covered in blood with his organ hanging by a thread.
Father of five Mr Smith, an ex soldier, was rushed to hospital where he needed a total of 26 hours of surgery as medics tried in vain to save the severed member.
He is now recovering on a prison hospital wing but his son William, 27, says he should be in a psychiatric unit.
And he wants to know how his father was able to inflict such damage on himself when he was supposed to have been on suicide watch in HMP Manchester, also known as Strangeways.
William said: “It is disgusting. The prison is not doing their care of duty.
“My dad should not be allowed a razor and he definitely should not be allowed on his own with a razor.”
He said his dad was arrested on July 7 on suspicion of possession a firearm and drugs offences.
The following day he attempted to slash his wrist at a police station.
He appeared in court on July 10 and was remanded in custody.