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Inquest to open into death of suicidal 16 year old who died hours after leaving hospital

16 June 2017

Before HM Senior Coroner Alison Mutch OBE
Manchester South Coroner’s Court, 1 Mount Tabor Street, Stockport, SK1 3AG
Opens 19 June 2017 - expected to last for 2 weeks

An inquest hearing will start on Monday 19 June 2017 concerning the death of 16 year old Lee Ridgway. On 27 August 2016, Lee made an attempt to take his own life and was taken to Stepping Hill Hospital by paramedics along with his parents. After leaving the hospital in the morning of the 28 August, Lee took his own life at Bramhall train station later that day.

Amongst the key questions the inquest must address include:
• Whether Lee received appropriate care at the hospital;
• The adequacy of care and risk assessments at all stages during his attendance;
• Why no further action was taken by healthcare professionals once Lee had left the hospital;
• Whether Children’s Services provided adequate support;
• Whether Children’s Services withdrew support prematurely.

Lee began to show signs of anxiety after commencing secondary school. Despite this, he was a popular and high achieving student. His parents noticed that his anxiety and emotional wellbeing was becoming worse and this prompted them to seek advice and help from a number of professionals.

In the months leading up to his death Lee had made positive progress and appeared more settled and happier. After a great family holiday abroad he started a summer job at Manchester United, attended the gym regularly and had spent time with his wide group of friends. He also passed his GCSE exams and was accepted by the college of his choice.

Lee Ridgway’s family said:
“Our family have been utterly devastated by the tragic loss of Lee, our beautiful boy. He was kind, intelligent and gifted. He did everything bigger, better, harder and faster. Nobody could meet him and remain unaffected by his brilliance, whether it was his captivating charm or dazzling smile, he really was amazing. We call Lee Sunshine and he shines bright. We would like to ask for privacy at this time and we will release a further statement after the inquest.”

INQUEST has been working with the family of Lee Ridgway since his death. The family is represented by INQUEST Lawyers Group members Nicole Bridgman of Southerns Solicitors, and Simon Murray of St Johns Buildings Chambers.

ENDS


NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information, please contact: Lucy McKay on 020 7263 1111 or lucymckay@inquest.org.uk

The family will not be issuing a further statement or interviews until the conclusion of the inquest.

INQUEST provides specialist advice on deaths in custody or detention or involving state failures in England and Wales. This includes a death in prison, in police custody or following police contact, in immigration detention or psychiatric care. INQUEST's policy and parliamentary work is informed by its casework and we work to ensure that the collective experiences of bereaved people underpin that work. Its overall aim is to secure an investigative process that treats bereaved families with dignity and respect; ensures accountability and disseminates the lessons learned from the investigation process in order to prevent further deaths.

Please refer to INQUEST the organisation in all capital letters in order to distinguish it from the legal hearing.

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