A coroner has raised concerns about illegal drugs in prisons and the difficulties of inmates’ families raising medical concerns after a murder suspect hanged himself in his cell.

Jonathan Palmer, of Green Wrythe Lane, Carshalton, died in custody before he and his two brothers, Stuart Palmer and Jason Lewis, were due to go on trial accused of murdering Tooting pensioner Peter Lee.

Mr Lee, 75, died in hospital on June 1, 2015, after being run over by a car in front of his home.

The Ministry of Justice said that 30-year-old Jonathan Palmer, who drove the car, was found unresponsive in his cell in Wandsworth Prison on November 19, 2015, and attempts by staff and paramedics to save him were unsuccessful.

The inquest into his death found he had hanged himself.

A coroner’s report has now raised questions after Mr Palmer was said to be exhibiting "bizarre and violent" behaviour while in custody between June and November 2015.

His family, including his brothers, who were also on remand and shared a cell with him for part of the time, were said to be convinced he was experiencing a developing psychotic illness in addition to other psychiatric conditions.

Mr Palmer’s GP records were not obtained and those responsible for his wellbeing in prison from June 2015 onwards knew little about his previous medical history.

The report by Kevin McLoughlin, assistant coroner in Inner West London, said: “Relevant aspects would have included his suicidal ideation in earlier years and the diagnosis of a major depressive illness, approximately four months before he was remanded in custody."

Evidence taken at the inquest indicated that Mr Palmer admitted to having smoked the drug spice on several occasions but the inquest jury did not find any causal link between illicit substance use and his death.

In a list of concerns, Mr McLoughlin said there is "no effective system by which the family can input information they deem relevant to a prisoner’s health needs" and called for records to be kept and maintained.

He added: “Families can be a source of valuable medical information, particularly, where GP records have not been obtained and the individual himself may not be a reliable source.

“It would be beneficial to have a clear, publicised conduit for a family to provide relevant medical information to a specified department.

“As the personal officer scheme appears to have been abandoned at HMP Wandsworth there is no alternative individual for a concerned family to approach.”

Mr McLoughlin also noted that measures in place to control contraband material, such as drugs, appear to be "ineffective".

He said: “In order to combat this menace, steps should be taken to identify the entry points in order that they can be more effectively controlled than those involved, deterred.

“In my opinion, action should be taken to prevent future deaths and I believe that the secretary of state for the Home Department, or the governor of HMP Wandsworth, have the power to take such action.”