Jailed Fraudster Found Dead In Prison

A Citizens Advice Bureau finance officer who was jailed for stealing almost £20,000 from the charity died after she was found hanging in her cell, according to the Prison Service.

Melanie Beswick, of Winchcombe Road, Portsmouth, Hampshire, was sentenced to nine months' imprisonment at Portsmouth Crown Court in March 2009 after pleading guilty to eight counts of fraud.

She was also given a one-year consecutive prison sentence for the non-payment of a fine.

The 34-year-old's crimes, which included stealing #10,000 to repay a finance company and to pay for double glazing, was uncovered by a routine audit of the accounts.

A Prison Service spokesman said Beswick was found hanging in her cell at Send Jail in Woking, Surrey, at the weekend.

He said:

"HMP Send prisoner Melanie Beswick was found hanging in her cell at 8.35pm on Saturday 21 August.

"Staff attempted CPR and an ambulance was called but unfortunately Ms Beswick was pronounced dead at 10.04pm.

"As with all deaths in custody, the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman will conduct an investigation. Our thoughts are with her family and friends.''

In a statement released at the time of Beswick's sentencing, the CAB said:

"We were shocked and saddened that Melanie Beswick abused her position of trust by stealing from bureau funds.

"New safeguards have since been put in place to further strengthen the security of our financial services.''