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Brandon/Braintree: Rebecca Watkins committed suicide, coroner concludes

18:38 28 April 2014

Darren Watkins, the father of Rebecca Watkins, coming out of the inquest into her death.

Darren Watkins, the father of Rebecca Watkins, coming out of the inquest into her death.

Mariam Ghaemi

A 16-year-old girl who was found hanging at a Brandon children’s home in 2009 had committed suicide, a coroner has concluded.

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Rebecca Watkins, 16, who was found hanging at Evergreen Children's Home in Brandon in 2009.Rebecca Watkins, 16, who was found hanging at Evergreen Children's Home in Brandon in 2009.

Today was the final day of a full inquest into the death of Rebecca Watkins, from Braintree, who was discovered in her room at Evergreen Children’s Home on June 16, 2009, and was confirmed dead at West Suffolk Hospital the next day.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean said there had been “systemic failures” by the services which were supposed to be there to protect Rebecca.

Dr Dean said possibly the most significant failure “was the failure to consider the other parent”.

The inquest has heard that Essex social care failed to make contact with Rebecca’s father Darren Watkins, from Colchester, who was no longer in a relationship with her mother, but had wanted to be informed of any concerns regarding his daughter.

Mr Watkins, who only learnt of Rebecca’s death after his mother read about it in a newspaper article, was at the inquest every day since it began at the Farmers’ Club in Bury St Edmunds last Tuesday.

Dr Dean said: “The tragedy is all the way through this there was a parent who did want to care for her and that makes the tragedy of Becky’s life even more profound.”

The inquest heard all nine recommendations of a Serious Case Review have been implemented.

For the full story read tomorrow’s East Anglian Daily Times.

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