A prison inmate found dead while on remand accused of murdering a pedestrian was jailed for life in 1999 after strangling his partner following a brutal hammer attack.
Simon Peter Mellors, who was freed on licence after serving a 12-year minimum term for the murder of Pearl Black, was pronounced dead at HMP Manchester on Sunday.
Mellors, of Berkeley Court, Nottingham, was charged with murder in January this year after an investigation into the death of 51-year-old former NHS worker Janet Scott.
The 56-year-old was also charged with the attempted murder of a man in his 30s who suffered non-life-threatening injuries when a vehicle crashed into Ms Scott on January 29.
Ms Scott, from Arnold, was pronounced dead at the scene in Peel Street, Nottingham.
In a statement confirming Mellors’ death, the Prison Service said: “HMP Manchester prisoner Simon Mellors died in custody on Sunday.
“As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.
“Our sincere condolences are with the family of Mr Mellors at this difficult time.”
Mellors killed Ms Black at their home in Bramcote, Nottingham, in May 1999 and was arrested two days later, having ingested slug pellets in an apparent attempt to take his own life.
He was handed a minimum term of 14 years, which was reduced on appeal in 2008 to 12 years after a judge ruled the murder of Ms Black was the result of “intense strain, mild to moderate depression, extreme frustration and inebriation.”
Then aged 38, Mellors murdered Ms Black after their relationship deteriorated and she started to see another man.
Nottingham Crown Court heard that Mellors knocked out the mother-of-two with a metal bar in a bedroom before going outside to a garden shed to fetch electrical ties, which he used as a ligature.
He later claimed diminished responsibility but was convicted of murder by a jury.
In the latest hearing at the same court on February 2 this year, Judge Gregory Dickinson QC said the latest accusation of murder would probably have to be tried under a High Court Judge due to the defendant’s “previous conviction for murder”.
The Ministry of Justice has declined to confirm when the Parole Board deemed Mellors safe to be released but he is understood to have served his 12-year minimum term.
A spokesman for Nottinghamshire Police was unable to confirm whether Ms Scott’s family had been informed of Mellors’ previous conviction.