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Brandon/Essex: Rebecca Watkins, 16, had told a friend she wanted to take her own life, inquest hears

18:17 22 April 2014

Coroner Dr Peter Dean.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean.

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A teenager who was found hanging at a children’s home in Brandon had said she wanted to kill herself on the anniversary of her best-friend committing suicide, an inquest has heard.

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Rebecca Watkins, 16, from Essex, was confirmed dead at West Suffolk Hospital on June 17, 2009, after staff from Evergreen Children’s Home in Bury Road found her in her room the previous day.

A Serious Case Review which was held following her death said Essex County Council’s Children’s Services made little effective intervention in their attempt to protect her.

Today is the start of a full inquest which is being held at the Farmers’ Club in Bury and is due to last for a week.

The inquest heard Rebecca, who had cerebral palsy and learning difficulties, was moved to the children’s home in April 2009 as her foster carers felt they could no longer cope.

Looking at a report by Detective Sergeant Mike Game, Coroner Dr Peter Dean said during the evening of June 16 Rebecca, who suffered from depression, went for a walk with a friend, referred to as resident B.

In the report Det Sgt Game said Rebecca was upset and told resident B about a previous significant assault she alleged had happened.

“She also mentioned...the following Friday was the anniversary of her best-friend killing herself and you tell us according to resident B Rebecca had said she was going to take her own life on that Friday,” Dr Dean said.

The inquest heard she had made a significant allegation of assault before her time at the children’s home, but it is believed she was notified by Essex Police in May 2009 to say there was insufficient evidence.

Detective Chief Inspector Adrian Randall said: “There was no suspicious evidence leading to her death and no neglectful care exhibited by any staff at the home on the night of her death or by the care home manager.”

The inquest continues.

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