Ill health may have led to inmate's death

Police have named the prisoner found dead at Waikeria Prison in Waikato and say ill health may have contributed to his death.

Nicholas Ward Harris (36), of the north Waikato town of Meremere, was found at the prison, near Te Awamutu, yesterday morning.

He had been arrested on Friday on a number of charges and was being held on remand at the prison, Detective Senior Sergeant Whitehead said.

"Early enquiries have identified that Mr Harris suffered from a number of health issues that may have contributed to his death."

A postmortem examination would be held today.

Waikeria Prison manager Kevin Smith said staff provided immediate medical assistance but were unable to revive him.

"Our thoughts go out to the man's family at this time."

The coroner and the independent Corrections Inspectorate would investigate the death, he said.


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