A HAMPSHIRE father’s rights campaigner claimed he was being bullied in prison days before his death, an inquest heard.

Haydn Burton died at Royal Hampshire County Hospital days after he was found hanging in his cell at Winchester Prison.

However his mother believes he did not “intend” to take his own life, and he did it out of desperation so he could be moved away from his wing.

Mr Burton, 42, was being held in remand at the prison facing an allegation of assault.

He was also due to be sentenced at crown court for possession of an offensive weapon, criminal damage to a police cell and breach of a criminal behavioural order by being anti social.

Mr Burton was a member of New Fathers 4 Justice and was campaigning to highlight children’s rights including secret family courts.

He had become a well-known figure in Winchester city centre protesting at the corner of Upper Brook Street and St George’s Street in a Superman costume and with a loud hailer.

Coroner Grahame Short told jurors a summary of the sequence of events before Mr Burton’s death in July last year.

The court heard how he was taken to HMP Winchester on May 26 last year after being charged with two accounts of assault causing actual bodily harm.

On June 17 he appeared at Winchester Crown Court via video, where he asked to change his lawyer and made account to being stabbed with a biro in prison the previous day.

He was also committed to court for other offences and was due to be sentenced in August.

The following month, on July 14, he was put on a care in custody and treatment plan, where he was watched hourly after prison officers believed he was at risk of suicide or self harm.

A prisoner who is trained to listen in confidence to the concerns of fellow inmates, also heard how Mr Burton, formerly of Wolfe Close, Stanmore, in Winchester, had spoken of debts and hanging himself.

On July 15, after a fellow inmate left his cell and between checks by prison officers, he was found hanging.

In a statement by Mr Burton’s mother Maureen Carter said: “He had concerns about debts he had in prison and spoke about bullying to his father in telephone conversations.

“We do not believe that he meant to end his life, he lived for his daughter and he had not given up that he would see her again.

“He would have been aware of the time when someone was due to check on him again.

“He thought he would be moved off the wing and away from those who gave him trouble, tragically he was not found in time, it did not go the way he thought it would.”

The inquest also heard he told his grandmother Rose Goldie about hanging himself, that he “expected” to be beaten up because of debts, and said he would not see her again.

She told the court it came “out of the blue” when he told her that and regrets that she did not take it more seriously and tell a prison officer.

The inquest continues and will last up to two weeks.