Farleys acted for the family of Gareth Price a 16 year old who died in HMP Lancaster Farms. The Inquest lasted 3 months and evidence was heard from over 60 witnesses. Having heard all the evidence the jury returned a detailed narrative verdict which included some of the following comments:-
- County Durham Engagement Service (CDES) took the decision to derogate from their National Standards, however failed to communicate this decision adequately to key agencies resulting in a poor standard of service being delivered.
- There was a failure by CDES to engage in meetings, in particular Gareths initial remand planning meeting. Documentation was incomplete and there were inappropriate assessments and only intermittent communication with Gareths family.
- The jury found that there was a serious omission in that incidents of Gareths self harm were not communicated to the family and other agencies.
The visiting Psychiatrist who assessed Gareth in prison should have ensured that the contents of her report were shared with other agencies instead of anticipating that they would be.
- The Prison Psychologists Report was not dealt with adequately, the report contained important information regarding Gareths self harm and was sent via the Prison internal mail. However the report did not reach the Prison Governor who had requested the same.
- The Personal Officer system within the Prison was ineffective.
- After 3 incidents of self harm Gareth was not seen by a qualified health practitioner.
- The jury found that the Youth Offending Team of Lancashire County Council employed untrained temporary staff, had confused lines of management and unclear job descriptions. Paperwork was not always completed correctly or on time, record keeping was poor and communication between agencies was haphazard. The overall running of the department was intermittent and casual.
In conclusion the jury stated that, “the complexity of this case and the evidence heard the jury finds that all agencies dealing with Gareth Price provided a most inadequate and negative input to his needs and ultimately contributed to his death.”
To arrange a free initial consultation with a specialist inquest solicitor call Farleys on 0333 331 4602 or submit and enquiry online.