The deaths of four inmates in cells at Winchester prison in two months has prompted an investigation.

Mohamed Emamy-Foroushani, 40, was due to appear at Southampton Crown Court on Monday but died on 2 September.

His death followed those of Haydn Burton, 42, on 15 July, Daryl Hargrave, 22, on 19 July, and Jason Payne, 30, on 17 August.

A Prison Service spokesman said the circumstances of each death would now be reviewed.

He said: “Any death in prison is a tragedy and reducing the number of self-inflicted deaths is a priority.

“All deaths in custody are fully investigated by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.

“This is something we take incredibly seriously and we are reviewing the circumstances of each death.”

He said it was believed Mr Payne died of natural causes.

Following an unannounced visit in 2014, inspectors described HMP Winchester as “insufficiently safe” with ineffective anti-bullying measures.

Juliet Lyon, director of the Prison Reform Trust, said last year the UK saw a record number of deaths in custody, and more than a third were self-inflicted.

“Massive cuts in staffing, increased violence and the use of psychoactive drugs have all taken their toll,” she said