'Assault' contributed to boy's suicide

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The Independent Online

Controversial restraining techniques were partially responsible for the death of a 14-year-old boy who killed himself in a young person's correctional facility after a row with staff.

Adam Rickwood took his own life at Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in Co Durham in August 2004.

Hours before he died he was struck by a member of staff using a nose distraction technique, a sharp blow to the nose which is supposed to quieten unruly children but has been criticised by campaigners as a form of assault.

An inquest jury in Easington, Co Durham, yesterday blamed unlawful restraint methods and serious system failure at the detention centre for being partially responsible for his death. The decision overturns a previous inquest which simply ruled that Adam killed himself.