A SEX offender who struggled to come to terms with his guilt died from a self-applied ligature, an inquest jury concluded.

Michael Joseph Mazzetti from County Durham served just over three months of an eight-year sentence when a fellow prisoner founding him hanged in his cell at HMP Northumberland on September 1, 2014.

The two-day inquest into the former carer’s death at Berwick-upon-Tweed Town Hall heard that the 45-year-old handed himself into police in December 2013 and was later sentenced after pleading guilty to eight counts of physical and sexual assaults on three vulnerable adults in his care – none of whom had the mental capacity to consent to or report his behaviour.

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It heard how Mazzetti struggled to come to terms with his sentence and was racked with guilt over his crimes.

In his summary, coroner Tony Brown said yesterday that there was insufficient evidence to suggest health care omissions and a failure to open an Assessment Care and Custody Teamwork (ACCT) programme, which provides those at risk of self-harm or suicide with extra support and overnight cell checks, contributed to Mazzetti’s death.

Dr Alison Parker, Mazzetti’s GP at HMP Northumberland, saw him three times between June 2014 and his death in September.

“Michael Mazzetti had told her he did not think life was worth living but that he wasn’t planning on doing anything about it,” said Mr Brown.

“She continued a prescription of (anti-depressants) and increased the dosage.

“She found he was in a low mood but her judgement was he did not need to be on an ACCT.”

The prison’s deputy head of residence, Brian Halliday, said an ombudsman’s recommendations in the wake of the death had been addressed.

Mazzetti’s father Ian Mazzetti said: “At the end of the day he was a man with no previous convictions and had never been in the prison system. He did something which was wrong. It struck with his conscience. He walked into a police station of his own volition. The justice system embraced him and he died.”