BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Spanish Russian Chinese Welsh

 You are in: UK: England
Front Page 
Northern Ireland 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Commonwealth Games 2002

BBC Sport

BBC Weather

Tuesday, 11 December, 2001, 15:37 GMT
Teenager 'attempted suicide four times'
Brinsford Young Offenders Institution, Wolverhampton
Anthony Redding was on a five-minute suicide watch
An inquest heard a teenager tied a ligature round his neck on four occasions before he was found hanged at a young offenders' institute.

Anthony Redding, 16, had been on a five-minute suicide watch in the health care wing of the Brinsford Young Offenders' Institution near Wolverhampton but was found hanged on 14 February this year.

He was pronounced dead at Wolverhampton's New Cross hospital a day later.

On Tuesday, the inquest at Stafford Crown Court heard Mr Redding, of Coventry, had first tied a ligature round his neck as he was driven from court after being convicted of motoring offences on 25 January this year.

Heard voices

This had been followed by three further "ligature incidents" before he was found hanged in February.

A post-mortem examination revealed he had died from asphyxiation.

Mr Redding's mother, Helen, told the inquest that on her last visit to see her son on 8 February, he described hearing the voice of his dead grandmother urging him to "come to her".

Mrs Redding said: "Anthony was very tearful and stated that he had heard voices in his head the previous evening.

"He said, 'You are never going to believe this, it's Nan.' She had passed away three years ago and Anthony was extremely close to her."

Concerns documented

She added: "The voice had told him to come to her. This made me very upset and very concerned for Anthony."

Despite making repeated telephone calls to the prison to express her concern and the risk of her son taking his own life, Mrs Redding said she was told he was all right.

She was aware her son had tried to hang himself on a previous two-month spell at Brinsford in 2000 when another inmate broke his nose.

Deputy prison governor Phillip Wragg said Mrs Redding's concerns had been documented, but only on confidential medical notes rather than a general case file that was open to all prison staff.

Peter Wetherby, representing Anthony's family, suggested this was an "important omission", given that Mr Redding tried to take his own life as soon as he was transferred back to the normal prison wing on 9 February.

Suicide team

Samantha Leek, on behalf of the Home Office, said no inmate would be discharged from the hospital wing unless deemed mentally and physically fit by a doctor and following a full case review.

Mr Wragg told the inquest a suicide prevention team had been set up at the institution, which has a full operating capacity of 493, with monthly meetings to discuss individual cases.

He said there were established protocols in place to deal with the scores of young offenders who were deemed at risk of suicide, including appointing a dedicated prison case worker.

Mr Wragg added: "I think it is about managing the issue as to what is seen fit at the time. This is a person who has recently come into custody and had tried to take his own life in the vehicle."

The inquest into Mr Redding's death continues.

Click here to go to BBC Birmingham Online
Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more England stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more England stories