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Cancer claims HMP Elmley prisoner who targeted elderly

A burglar who targeted elderly victims has died while serving a five-year jail sentence at Elmley Prison on the Isle of Sheppey.

Christopher Swanson, formerly of Peony Crescent, Sittingbourne, was jailed in September, 2018, after conning a 90-year-old into letting her into her home and then stealing her purse.

Christopher Swanson. Picture: Kent Police
Christopher Swanson. Picture: Kent Police

He had already served two previous jail terms for similar offences and had been described by one police officer as "a career criminal."

On February 8 this year, Swanson reported to prison staff that he was felling unwell, with stomach pains and difficulty eating.

A GP referred him to A&E at Medway Maritime Hospital in Gillingham, where he was admitted to Arethusa Ward.

After extensive tests it was discovered that he had a cancerous tumour on his oesophagus.

At his own request he was discharged back to prison on February 15, but a few days later his condition deteriorated with swelling of his legs and severe abdominal pains.

Swanson was diagnosed with cancer at Medway Martime Hospital
Swanson was diagnosed with cancer at Medway Martime Hospital

He was again admitted to hospital where further tests shows that the cancer had spread to his liver and lymph nodes and he died on February 25.

Coroner Katrina Hepburn heard the prison had begun the process to secure his release from jail on compassionate grounds once it was known that his condition was terminal, but that his decline had happened so quickly, he was dead before the process was completed.

Swanson, who was 52, was originally from Liverpool.

Miss Hepburn recorded that the death had been the result of natural causes.

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