Killer scaffolder Nicholas Rose dies in jail after taking spice

Killer scaffolder, 37, who was jailed for life for murdering a 16-year-old girl was found dead in his prison cell after taking Spice, inquest hears

  • Nicholas Rose, 37, was found dead in his cell in HMP Guys Marsh on May 19, 2019
  • He was serving a life sentence for the murder of 16-year-old Charlotte Pinkney
  • Rose murdered the teenager in February 2004 after she rejected his advances
  • His inquest heard Rose had taken spice in the hours leading to his death 

The convicted murderer of a 16-year-old girl died in prison after taking the illegal drug Spice, an inquest has heard.

Nicholas Rose, 37, was found dead in bed in his cell in HMP Guys Marsh, near Shaftesbury, Dorset, on May 19, 2019.

The scaffolder was jailed for life in 2005 for the murder of 16-year-old Charlotte Pinkney in Devon after she spurned his sexual advances.

Charlotte vanished in the early hours of February 28, 2004.

Nicholas Rose, left, murdered Charlotte Pinkney, pictured right, in Devon in the early hours of February 28, 2004. The 16-year-old victim’s body has never been recovered

Rose was found dead in his cell at HMP Guys Marsh in Dorset on May 19, 2019. He had been transferred to the Category C unit two years earlier

She had been to a house party, which Rose had also attended, and left in a car.

She was reported missing on March 4 and six days later a murder investigation was launched when her handbag was found in undergrowth near Ilfracombe.

After almost a month of intensive searches, police arrested Rose. In February 2005 he went on trial at Exeter Crown Court, was convicted of murder and sentenced to life.

Charlotte’s body was never found and Rose always maintained his innocence.

A report by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman said Rose was transferred to HMP Guys Marsh in 2017.

It states that Rose had a known history of substance misuse in prison from October 2016, but was thought to have been clean for over a year before he died.

Rose was sentenced to life in prison by Exeter Crown Court, pictured,  following the 2004 murder of Charlotte Pinkney, 16

At 12.15pm on May 19, 2019, a prison officer was doing a routine roll call of the Jubilee Unit when he discovered Rose dead in his cell.

The prison incident log and records from the ambulance service showed that the emergency call was received at 12.17pm and an ambulance was dispatched at 12.20pm, arriving at Guys Marsh six minutes later.

The report said that Rose was the sixth prisoner to die at HMP Guys Marsh in the two-year period since May 2017.

Charlotte, pictured, attended a house party on the night she vanished. Rose was seen by witnesses at the same event

Of the previous deaths, one was from natural causes, three were psychoactive substances (PS) related and one was a self-inflicted death in which PS played a part.

It added: ‘Psychoactive substances (formerly known as ‘new psychoactive substances’ or ‘legal highs’) are a serious problem across the prison estate. They are difficult to detect and can affect people in a number of ways including increasing heart rate, raising blood pressure, reducing blood supply to the heart and vomiting.

‘Mr Rose had a history of substance misuse in prison but appeared to have been abstinent for over a year before he died. He was regarded as a role model by staff and prisoners and supported other prisoners with substance misuse issues.

‘His death was a great shock to all at Guys Marsh and is another sad example of the dangers of psychoactive substances.’

A post mortem examination found that Rose died from airway obstruction due to aspiration of vomit as a result of PS intoxication.

Assistant coroner for Dorset, Brendan Allen, stated that prior to his death Rose ingested spice and concluded that he died by misadventure.

The four-day inquest took place at Bournemouth Town Hall between March 21-24. 

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