Historic sex offender Max Clifford's family raised concerns over his care in Cambridgeshire prison they claim led to his death

Max Clifford
Max Clifford

The disgraced former celebrity publicist Max Clifford died of heart failure, weeks after his family voiced concerns for his health, a pre-inquest review heard.

The 74-year-old sex offender died in Hinchingbrooke Hospital, Huntingdon, on December 10 last year while serving an eight-year prison sentence.

Clifford, from Hersham, Surrey was jailed in May 2014 after he was convicted of eight historical sexual assaults on women and young girls aged 15 to 19 between 1977 and 1985.

An inquest was opened and adjourned on December 21 last year after a coroner confirmed that there would be an investigation into the PR mogul's death after he collapsed in Littlehey Prison.

Clifford's daughter Louise Clifford, told the inquest review over the phone that the family took issue over the communication and treatment in the run up to her fathers death.

She said: "Broadly speaking in generalities, it was just an incredibly slow process.

"It was just an uphill struggle to get anything resolved.

"We did not get a diagnosis until the day he died and this had been going on since July.

"If we had got a diagnosis earlier then we good have had a better prognosis and we could have started treatment far earlier.

"I was on the phone to the cardio secretary at Hinchingbrooke three times per week if not more, trying to find out when an MRI would happen.

"On the day I he collapsed I spoke to the nurse and she was very friendly and told me he was on her radar now.

"There was a lack of communication and it was just slow- there was someone dying."

Miss Clifford told the inquest that her father had been complaining about his inadequate living conditions only weeks before he died.

"I accept that he died of natural causes but there were matters that exacerbated his condition. Being cold, lack of heating- the shock of the shower.

"He complained for weeks and weeks to me that it had become impossible to shower adequately.

Clifford's former GP Ann Coxon, who treated him since 2003 was present at the hearing and has been instructed to produce a statement for investigation.

Assistant Coroner for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Simon Milburn told the hearing in Huntingdon: the central issue is likely to be the treatment that Mr Clifford received in various location

"I will instuct an expert cardiologist to conduct a review into this case for the full inquest and I will look to resume this case sometime in September or October."

It has not been confirmed if a jury will be required for the inquest.

Mr Milburn recorded that Clifford had been suffering from Amaloidosis, a condition that causes a protein to build up within body organs that can ultimately lead to heart failure.

The Ministry of Justice confirmed that Clifford's death would be investigated by the independent Prisons and Probation Ombudsan.

Clifford's arrest followed the launch of Operation Yewtree by the Met Police on the back of the Jimmy Saville sex abuse scandal.

Clifford had suffered from illness for some time while locked up and had suffered from a heart attack.

He collapsed twice since being jailed in 2014.

Miss Clifford said that he had collapsed in his cell while trying to clean and after collapsing again the next day, he was taken to a critical care unit.

Clifford's body was identified at hospital by Cara Yeomans, who works at Papworth Hospital.

The date of the full inquest will be announced.