Both men, who were being detained at HMP Wakefield, were advised to protect themselves on several occasions because they had underlying health problems, but they refused.
Michael Preston, 68, died on November 7, 2020 and James Palmer, 74, died on December 6.
An investigation by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman found that Mr. Preston was the first inmate at the prison to die from Covid-19 and five more have since died after contracting the virus.
He was first placed on remand for sex crimes in 2009 and then sentenced to life in prison the following year.
Preston suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), high blood pressure and diabetes, but decided to stop attending medical appointments in May 2020.
Due to his health problems, he was considered to be high risk and was advised by a prison nurse to transfer to a protection unit three times, but he refused and signed a disclaimer.
He was taken to the hospital by ambulance on the morning of October 19 after prison officials discovered that he was struggling to breathe in his cell.
He was treated in the intensive care unit and then released on temporary leave on October 27, but his health deteriorated and he died at 8.16 pm on November 7.
Palmer, who was sentenced to life in prison for intentional wounding in 1995, also suffered from various health problems, including high blood pressure and diabetes.
In May 2019, he had a heart attack and then required treatment for a blocked artery in his heart. They also prescribed medication to treat atrial fibrillation.
After initially agreeing to protect himself in April 2020, he decided to stop and return to his daily activities, but then contracted the virus in November.
On December 6, he collapsed in his cell and was taken to the hospital by ambulance, but died the same day.
His son asked why he had not been released on compassionate grounds prior to his death and the prison governor stated that it is only granted in exceptional circumstances, including cases where an inmate is terminally ill, but Mr. Palmer he had not been diagnosed with a terminal illness.
In both cases, coroners recorded the cause of death as “Covid-19 pneumonia.”
Investigators from the Prison and Parole Ombudsman found that staff at the high-security prison, which is called Monster Mansion because it has held several high-profile criminals, had taken steps to protect inmates from the virus.
All inmates arriving at the prison were required to remain in quarantine for 14 days, and protective isolation cells were set up for anyone with Covid-19 and armor units for high-risk prisoners.
According to the Ministry of Justice (MoJ), it can house up to 750 men and each has his own room.
The Ministry of Justice has been contacted for comment.
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This notice was published: 2021-05-12 20:00:15