Mother of inmate who died in prison accepts settlement and withdraws appeal for inquest

The settlement a mother proposed and accepted over the death of her son in prison was "at a level which the Government had indicated from the start it was prepared to consider", said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the 45-year-old woman in a joint statement.

"The Government had from the outset admitted responsibility for the death of Dinesh Raman (Chinnaiah) caused by the negligence of Deputy Superintendent of Prison (DSP) Lim Kwo Yin and informed Madam Selvi (Narayanasamy) of its willingness to pay compensation for Dinesh Raman's death," said the MHA and Madam Selvi in the joint statement released by the ministry on Wednesday. "In fact, the Government offered a settlement sum on Sept 10, 2013 which Madam Selvi did not accept."

Dinesh died of breathing problems after being placed chest down and left in an isolation cell following an unprovoked attack in Changi Prison on Sept 27, 2010. He was 21 at the time.

His 45-year-old mother had appealed last year for an inquest into her son's death and also launched a civil suit seeking compensation from the Government. This after the coroner's inquiry into his death was discontinued after senior prison officer Lim Kwo Yin pleaded guilty and was fined $10,000 for causing death by negligence.

In the joint statement, Madam Selvi is said to have "unreservedly and unconditionally" withdrawn her allegations of assault and abuse of authority against Prison Service officers as contained in her statement of claim filed on Sept 11 last year, and "accepts and agrees unconditionally and unequivocally" that Dinesh's death was caused solely through DSP Lim's negligence.

The decision to settle "on a full and final basis, in relation to all claims, disputes, issues and matters whatsoever relating to, arising from or in connection with the death" was made last Tuesday, added the MHA and Madam Selvi.