HE HAD only just got engaged, but unable to cope with the difficulties of working at the Island's prison, and struggling with his mental health, 29-year-old Matthew Law took his own life — while at work.

Matt — a former prison officer who had recently scaled his work down to operational support grade level — was seeking less pressure at work, but remained in fragile mental health.

He hanged himself at the Parkhurst wing on December 16.

He was newly engaged to his girlfriend Jules Buckland, with whom he lived at Camp Hill.

She paid tribute to him this week.

She said: "Matt had worked several years as a prison officer, following the footsteps of his father.

"The prison environment sadly had a negative impact on Matt's mental health, exacerbating underlying pain.

"He leaves behind his parents, Michelle and Tony Law, of Seaview, along with many extended members of family in the UK and Australia.

"He also leaves behind his son, seven, from a previous relationship, who he enjoyed Pokemon and Nerf wars with every other weekend.

"We were newly engaged and planning our wedding in the Lake District — somewhere we had both spent our childhoods and shared together on our anniversary trip just weeks before he died.

"Matt was known in the local car scene for his badly-painted noisy bangers, although he had lost contact with this scene towards the end.

"He was most known for his passion for weight training and the gym life, and was starting his new journey as a personal trainer at the point he sadly relapsed in his mental health and took his life.

"He fought hard to be a part of this world, but prison staff are living in the 'forgotten service' and it is a dark world to be a part of.

"Character-wise, he was very caring and kind, even among his darkest days.

"He had his vices but he laughed and loved and wanted so much more for the people he cared for."

An inquest was opened into his death on December 23 and was adjourned until March.

The cause of death was hanging.

At the time of his death, Phil Copple, director general of prisons at the Ministry of Justice, said: “We are providing extra support to staff at HMP Isle of Wight following the death of a colleague.

"My thoughts are with their family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.”

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