INQUEST COMMENCES INTO DEATH OF 17 YEAR OLD VULNERABLE ADOLESCENT
Before HMC Senior Coroner Nigel Meadows
Manchester Coroner’s Court
No.1, Room 116, Manchester Town Hall, Albert Square, Manchester
22 May 2017 – 26 May 2017 for 5 days
Elliot David Hobson was 17 years old at the time of his death. He was found dead on 4 February 2013 in parkland near Hazel Court, a semi supported living accommodation where he was a resident.
From the age of 16, Elliot was a Looked After Child and under the care of Bury mental health services. In March 2012, Elliot was placed in a residential placement at Hazel Court, Manchester which is run by Casi Care. The placement was funded by Bury Council and Pennine Care NHS Mental Health Trust.
During the last 12 months of his life, Elliot was actively suicidal and there were concerns raised by the various agencies involved in his care as to the suitability of Hazel Court and its ability to safeguard Elliot from the risks he posed to himself. There were also discussions taking place regarding a transfer of Elliot’s care to Adult services upon turning 18.
The inquest intends to explore:
• The appropriateness of Elliot’s placement at Hazel Court
• The management of Elliot during his time at Hazel Court, including the transition period to Adult Services
• The management of Elliot when he appears to reach crisis point in January 2013 and;
• The search for Elliot on the night of 3-4 February by both Hazel Court and Greater Manchester Police
The family of Elliot Hobson said:
“Words do not exist to describe the depth of our pain caused by Elliot’s death. We hope the inquest will examine why Elliot lived for over 16 years in the care of his family, only to die within months of being taken into the care of the state.”
The family ask to have their privacy respected, they do not wish to speak further to media.
Deborah Coles, Director of INQUEST said:
“Four years on from Elliot’s death, his family deserve nothing less than a very thorough inquest considering why the very agencies who were supposed to safeguard him were not able to keep him safe at a time when he was most vulnerable. Elliot’s death is the 4th death of a child in Manchester area with multi agency involvement.”
The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Gemma Vine and Komal Hussain of Minton Morrill Solicitors and Andrew Bridgeman of St Johns Buildings Chambers.
For further information please contact: Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org
INQUEST provides specialist advice on deaths in custody or detention or involving state failures in England and Wales. This includes a death in prison, in police custody or following police contact, in immigration detention or psychiatric care. INQUEST's policy and parliamentary work is informed by its casework and we work to ensure that the collective experiences of bereaved people underpin that work. Its overall aim is to secure an investigative process that treats bereaved families with dignity and respect; ensures accountability and disseminates the lessons learned from the investigation process in order to prevent further deaths.
Please refer to INQUEST the organisation in all capital letters in order to distinguish it from the legal hearing.
‘I was already working with INQUEST, which is the organisation who monitor deaths in custody, and at one AGM I told the audience that what happened to these people [killed in police custody like Chistopher Alder, Roger Sylvester and many others] could happen to any of us. And then a couple of years later, I was standing in front of them again but now it had happened to my cousin. So my family and me were now “users” of Inquest. It shows you that none of us are immune – here am I, Benjamin Zephaniah, patron of INQUEST and client of INQUEST at the same time.’
– Benjamin Zephaniah