An exercise in back-covering

Following on from our post the other day, we have this from the Independent:

An inquest into the death of Adam Rickwood was told yesterday that magistrates who sent the 14-year-old into custody were told in a pre-sentencing report that he constituted “no risk of self-harm”.

The decision to send him to Hassockfield secure training centre near Consett, Co Durham, also drew on the results of a form completed by Lancashire County Council’s youth offending team which indicated that Adam had had no contact with mental services, had received no kind of mental diagnosis and had never harmed himself.

In fact, the boy had been in hospital seven times after repeatedly overdosing on alcohol/drug mixes and cutting his wrists twice.

Nonetheless, the ptb insist that no mistakes were made:

Lancashire County Council social workers and the Youth Justice Board (YJB) maintain Hassockfield was the right unit for Adam.

Peter Minchin, head of placements at the YJB, has told the inquest: “These are purpose-built training centres for vulnerable young people.

“Hassockfield was an appropriate place for this young person.”

An “appropriate place”?! It demonstrably was no such thing, assuming they didn’t intend that the child should commit suicide.

There’s more on Blairwatch, who also points out that Serco custody escorts are in future to be given responsibility for assessing the mental health of 18-20-year-olds. No, really.

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