NHS training staff on county lines warning signs following case of teenage killer

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Trust is training staff on county lines warning signs Picture: Nick But

Norfolk and Norwich Hospital Trust is training staff on county lines warning signs Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Archant

NHS staff are being trained on how to spot signs of county lines exploitation following the case of a teenage killer who was recruited by drug dealers.

Kieran Hayward was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years Picture: SUFFOLK C

Kieran Hayward was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 19 years Picture: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY - Credit: SUFFOLK CONSTABULARY

Kieran Hayward, from Bury St Edmunds, was jailed for a minimum of 19 years after stabbing Daniel Saunders to death in an Ipswich alleyway in December 2018.

Hayward, who is now 18, denied murdering Mr Saunders, a father-of-two, but was found guilty by a jury at Ipswich Crown Court following a six-week trial which ended in August.

Sentencing the teenager, Judge Martyn Levett described the fatal stabbing as a drug-related "revenge attack" because Mr Saunders was suspected of robbing a drug runner.

The judge said the background to the case concerned the Rico and Frankie drug syndicate which sold class A drugs in Ipswich.


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Judge Levett said Hayward had been involved in the supply of drugs since he was 13 and had worked his way up the syndicate structure.

MORE: Teenage killer jailed for life for brutal Ipswich alleyway murderThe case is now being used to train staff at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals Trust on how to spot the warning signs of youngsters who are at risk of falling into gangs, a hospital spokeswoman confirmed.

It is understood that when Hayward was 16, he was attacked by an addict who sprayed him with ammonia.

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The teenager was taken to hospital by his parents, claiming he had accidentally sprayed household cleaner on himself.

Doctors, nurses and hospital staff are now being trained to look out for such signs that children are falling prey to drug dealing gangs.

In November, parents of students at schools and colleges in the Bury St Edmunds area were invited to an information evening on county lines gangs and how to spot the warning signs.

Some parents were turned away from the meeting, held at West Suffolk College in Bury, so another was held immediately after on the same evening to help cope with the "unprecedented demand".

MORE: 'Unprecedented demand' for places at county lines meetingSpeaking at the time, Colin Shaw, vice principal for quality and student experience at West Suffolk College, said: "As educationalists, we are fully committed to tackling this problem and the sheer numbers we saw shows us that parents and carers in the local community feel the exact same."

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