A RETIRED builder died in hospital after developing septicaemia while in Winchester Prison, an inquest heard.

John Ferris was admitted to Royal Hampshire County Hospital on March 15 with pain in his knee.

After treatment and tests his condition deteriorated and he died on March 22.

Winchester Coroner’s Court heard Mr Ferris, 75, who had started serving a custodial sentence for a string of sexual offences at the start of the month, first complained of pain in his left knee in the early hours of March 14.

Over the next 36 hours he was seen by two nurses and a doctor at the prison.

The inquest heard that on the afternoon of March 15 nurse Penelope Ndlova had requested for him to be transferred to the health care wing to receive further treatment.

However, he was taken to hospital later the same day.

Tests found Mr Ferris had a suspected Group C Streptococcus infection. His condition deteriorated, despite a knee washout and "aggressive treatment", and he died after eight days in hospital.

Pathologist Dr Hayley Burnley gave a cause of death of multiple organ failure due to septicaemia and the infection.

Recording a conclusion of natural causes, Senior Coroner Grahame Short said: "Mr Ferris developed a group C streptococcus infection while in Winchester prison. He was transferred to hospital on March 15 where he died."