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Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 11:27 GMT
Court blocks inmate death inquiry
Yvonne Scholes
Mrs Scholes said Joseph should not have been in a YOI
A mother who campaigned over the deaths of vulnerable teenagers in custody has lost a High Court bid for a public inquiry into her son's suicide.

Yvonne Scholes wanted a fresh look into the death of Joseph, 16, from Sale, Greater Manchester.

He hanged himself in Stoke Heath Young Offenders' Institution (YOI), Market Drayton, Shropshire, in March 2002.

Mr Justice Bennett said the inquest into Joseph's death discharged the home secretary's obligation to investigate.

He refused Mrs Scholes, from Meliden, near Prestatyn, north Wales, permission to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Joseph from Sale, Greater Manchester, was nine days into a two-year sentence for a series of street robberies at the time of his death.

Joseph Scholes
Joseph Scholes died nine days into a two-year sentence

Mrs Scholes has marched to Downing Street with other campaigners calling for radical reform of the youth justice system.

They went to the High Court in London seeking a judicial review of the government's refusal to order a public inquiry.

Her lawyers argued that the UK authorities had failed to comply with their duty under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights properly to investigate Joseph's death.

They said he had a history of suicide attempts, and was so vulnerable that he should never have been sent to a YOI.

A "lack of resources" meant that he was placed in a young offenders' institution, rather than a local authority secure children's home (LASCH), her legal team said.

Those issues were never investigated at the inquest, they added.

Mrs Scholes said she wanted to stop the same thing happening to other vulnerable children in the future.

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