An ELDERLY man has become the first British prisoner to die after contracting Covid-19.

The 84-year-old prisoner at HMP Littlehey, a category C male sex offenders' prison in Cambridgeshire, died in hospital on Sunday, March 22.

He reportedly had underlying health issues.

As of Wednesday, 19 inmates had been diagnosed with the virus across 10 jails, while four prison staff had also tested positive.

Three prisoner escort and custody services staff have also tested positive for the virus.

A Prison Service spokesman said: “An 84-year-old prisoner at HMP Littlehey died in hospital on March 22.

“Our thoughts are with his family at this time.

“As with all deaths in custody, there will be an independent investigation by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman.”

The Prison Service has said robust contingency plans have been put in place at its facilities in consultation with Public Health England and the Department of Health and Social Care.