An inquest into the death of an inmate who died only 36 hours into her prison sentence will open tomorrow (May 16).

Natasha Chin was found dead in her cell at HMP Bronzefield outside Ashford in Surrey on July 19 last year.

She was 39 years old when she was found unresponsive, after reporting that she felt unwell when she entered prison earlier.

HMP Bronzefield is the only purpose-built private prison solely for women and is the largest female prison in Europe.

Natasha, from Islington, had alcohol and drug dependencies and a history of depression and poor physical health including asthma and epileptic fits.

The day after she entered prison her condition deteriorated, she was vomiting and out of breath.

Inmates had said she had tried ringing her cell bell for assistance but it was not working and nobody discovered the problem until a nurse and prison officer entered her cell to deliver her medication.

Marsha Chin, Natasha’s sister said: “I hope the inquest will thoroughly examine the circumstances of Natasha's death to help us as a family understand why she died, and whether anything could have been done to prevent her death.”

Natasha is one of nine women to die at HMP Bronzefield since 2010. . One of these deaths has been classified as self-inflicted, six as non self-inflicted and two awaiting classification.

Deborah Coles, executive director of charity Inquest who are working with Natasha’s family, said: “The vulnerability of women in prison is well documented and they are owed a duty of care.

“There have been previous concerns raised by coroners and investigation bodies around the treatment of drug dependency in this private prison.

“This inquest must offer proper scrutiny into the circumstances surrounding Natasha’s death and how she came to die within 36 hours of entering the prison".