Family and friends of a Southend man who died at Chelmsford Prison are demanding that the inquest into his death is re-opened to find out answers.

An inquest ruled that Edward Tula, 20, hung himself in his single cell on June 16, 2012, while he was held in custody over an alleged assault.

He was a patient at Basildon Hospital four months before his death where he received medical assessment for complaints of paranoia and self-harm. He was charged with assaulting another patient in the hospital.

The coroner’s court ruled that Mr Tula had a history of mental health problems.

The inquest, which lasted for four days, ruled that “imprisonment, medical history and the forthcoming trial may have been contributory factors in his death”.

However, his grief-stricken family is demanding the inquest to be re-opened as they allege that Mr Tula was murdered. They are furious over the irregularities of the ombudsman’s report where witnesses reported his body was found in three different locations of the prison.

Family and friends have received the support of Sir David Amess MP, social workers, a Southend police officer and a police constable.

Mr Tula’s mum, Doreen Burleigh, 43, of Southend, said: “I am going to pursue to this the end. I am not convinced about the details given to us by the prisoner ombudsman.

“I am not convinced my son died from suicide. He was a young man, only 20, and he had a whole life waiting for him.

“He was one month away from his 21st birthday.

“I am working tirelessly to get justice for my Edward. We will be heading to Chelmsford Prison next Thursday to hold a peaceful demonstration.”

Family and friends held a protest outside the Civic Centre, in Victoria Avenue, Southend, yesterday to show their campaign for answers.

Keith Martin, 59, a family friend of the family said: “We are taking our campaign worldwide. Doreen will be heading to Zimbabwe to get support for our petition, and the US for collect more signatures.

“Before Edward died, he wrote a letter to Doreen saying he was well and she said there was no signs of depression or anything wrong with him.

“So we find his suicide to be very suspicious and we demand an inquest to be re-opened.

“So far we have more than 150 signatures and we are going to get more.

“Since Edward passed away it has been very touch on Doreen. We don’t believe that Edward had taken his own life.

“We want to bring justice for Edward and we won’t stop until we are heard.”

Mr Tula was a music student at Southend Adult Community College. After graduation he had wanted to pursue a career in music.

The Ministry of Justice was contacted for a comment.