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Failings contributed to vulnerable boy’s death

Jake Hardysource: The Guardian
published: 4 April 2014

An inquest jury has found multiple failings by staff at a young offender institution contributed to the death of a 17-year-old boy, who had been bullied by other inmates.

Staff at Hindley youth offender institution in Wigan have been accused of failing to give Jake Hardy proper support before hanged himself in his cell on 20 January 20 2012. He was taken to hospital but died four days later.

The teenager, who was serving six months for affray and common assault, had previously complained that he was being picked on and had said that he was better off dead, said the charity Inquest, which helps people bereaved by a death in custody.

An inquest jury at Bolton coroner’s court found that he had died as a result of his own deliberate act but that there was not enough evidence to prove he intended to kill himself, and they highlighted a number of failures at the youth jail.

The jury said staff failed to protect him and to investigate the bullying. The jury heard he had been allocated a personal prison officer who had not studied his record and knew nothing of his vulnerabilities.

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