The family of a vulnerable inmate who killed himself days after being transferred to Wandsworth prison may sue the prison service after an inquest ruled there were massive failings in his care.

Christopher Wardally, 25, was found hanged in his Onslow Wing cell on June 12, 2009, after being moved between seven prisons in the four years before his death.

His death has already led charities to call for faster prison reforms and for further investigation into two of the country’s top prison governors who were implicated in the case.

In recording a narrative verdict at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, September 21, jurors said Wardally, who suffered from schizophrenia and lived in Haybridge Avenue, Streatham, was failed by the prison service in the days and months before he died.

In its majority ruling it said Wardally "killed himself while the balance of his mind was disturbed", the jury also outlined a series of care failings, which it said were "contributory circumstances" to his death.

After the ruling, Wardally’s mother, Kathleen, said she was considering suing for compensation.

She said: "He could have been helped when he was asking for help. If they had sent someone earlier maybe he would still be alive today."

The inquest heard Wardally, who had a history of mental health issues, was anxious to return to Wandsworth prison as he feared being targeted by north London gangs in Pentonville prison.

Despite a serious suicide attempt on April 22, and June 1, he was not considered to be at serious risk of self-harm. The court also heard Mr Wardally should have been returned to Wandsworth prison "as a matter of urgency" on May 26, after he was accidentally sent to Pentonville, following a court appearance.

A report into his death by the Prisons and Probation Ombudsman (PPO) revealed he was scheduled to be transferred back to Wandsworth on June 6, the day its prison inspection finished.

It also revealed that decision was sanctioned by Wandsworth’s former governor Ian Mulholland and former Pentonville governor Nick Leader, who exchanged emails about Wardally.

Both governors were cleared of any wrongdoing in an internal prison investigation – three other managers were given advice and guidance.

But the PPO report, which made 35 recommendations after highlighting serious flaws in Wardally’s care, highlighted inconsistencies in the governors’ stories.

After the inquest Kathleen Wardally’s solicitor, Ben Conroy, said he would be looking at compensation claims against the prison service – and possibly health services – for failures.

He said while the inquest found no evidence Wardally was one of a group of prisoners due to be moved back to Wandsworth after a prison inspection, prison governors at Wandsworth and Pentonville "definitely had the inspection in their minds". He said: "The inspection was in the minds of those governors responsible for making decisions about Christopher Wardally."

The prison service refused to comment on the case but said it had implemented all 35 PPO recommendations. It refused to say whether the governors would face any more action.

In a statement, it said: "We will consider the inquest findings to see what lessons can be learned."