'Wide new inquiry' into youngest inmate death

A second inquest into the youngest person to die in a British penal institution in modern times will be a "wide-ranging inquiry" in how young people in custody are restrained, a coroner said today.

Adam Rickwood, of Burnley, Lancashire, was just 14 when he was found hanging at Hassockfield Secure Training Centre, near Medomsley, County Durham, in 2004.



The teenager was held on remand at the centre 150 miles away from his home town, when his mother said regulations stated children should be kept no more than 50 miles from where they live.



Hours before he died the teenager had been struck painfully on the nose and carried into his cell by staff at the privately-run institution, an inquest jury was told.



The use of the "Nose Distraction Technique" (NDT) has since been deemed unlawful, the hearing at Durham County Council Offices in Easington was told.



Assistant Deputy Coroner Jeremy Freedman told the panel of five women and four men: "This will be a wide-ranging inquiry. You will hear about matters which do not impact immediately on the circumstances of Adam's death but because of the context of this death and the issues which it has raised, it is necessary for there to be a more extensive inquiry than would otherwise be the case."



He explained that a first inquest was held in 2007, but that the High Court ruled a second was necessary as the jury in that case was not told of Adam's removal from association with other pupils, the way he was carried and the use of a blow to the nose were unlawful.



Mr Freedman told the hearing: "It is agreed now by all the interested parties that what happened to Adam in the early evening of that night was both unlawful and illegal."



The jury heard Adam had refused to be punished by being put in his cell, and would not move from the association area.



Four members of staff used the Physical Control in Care method, which involved two people grabbing his arms, one placing both hands on his head and the other lifting his legs.



One member of staff, fearing Adam was about to bite, used NDT, and hit his nose, the inquest heard.



He was put in his cell, where hours later he was found hanging.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Raif Badawi: Wife pleads for fresh EU help as Saudi blogger's health worsens

Please save my husband

As the health of blogger Raif Badawi worsens in prison, his wife urges EU governments to put pressure on the Saudi Arabian royal family to allow her husband to join his family in Canada
Birthplace of Arab Spring in turmoil as angry Tunisians stage massive sit-in over lack of development

They shall not be moved: jobless protesters bring Tunisia to a halt

A former North African boom town is wasting away while its unemployed citizens stick steadfastly to their sit-in
David Hasselhoff's new show 'Hoff the Record': What's it like working with a superstar?

Hanging with the Hoff

Working with David Hasselhoff on his new TV series was an education for Ella Smith
Can Dubai's Design District 'hipster village' attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?

Hipsters of Arabia

Can Dubai’s ‘creative village’ attract the right type of goatee-wearing individualist?
The cult of Roger Federer: What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?

The cult of Roger Federer

What is it that inspires such obsessive devotion?
Kuala Lumpur's street food: Not a 'scene', more a way of life

Malaysian munchies

With new flights, the amazing street food of Kuala Lumpur just got more accessible
10 best festival beauty

Mud guards: 10 best festival beauty

Whether you're off to the Isle of Wight, Glastonbury or a local music event, we've found the products to help you
Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe

A Different League

Unai Emery’s passion for winning and eye for a bargain keep Seville centre stage in Europe, says Pete Jenson
Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey - Steve Bunce

Steve Bunce on Boxing

Amir Khan and James DeGale’s remarkable Olympic performances were just the start of an extraordinary journey
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf