Inquest into death of girl found unconscious at Aycliffe Secure Centre begins

A teenager with a history of self-harming was found unconscious at her secure home before being declared dead, an inquest has heard.

A jury at Crook Civic Centre heard how Taylor Alice Williams had been “self-harming for some time” before moving to the Aycliffe Secure Centre.

Briefly outlining the facts behind the 17-year-old’s death, coroner Tanyka Rawden said that she had moved to the centre (pictured) in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, following “concerns for her safety”.

But Ms Rawden explained how Ms Williams’s issues continued despite moving to the accommodation, which provides support for vulnerable children, in July 2016.

She told a jury of six men and five women that at around 1pm on February 18 2017, the teenager, from Worcestershire, told staff she was going to her room because she “felt tired”.

The coroner explained how, at around 4.40pm that day, workers at the centre called 999 after finding Ms Williams unconscious and with something wrapped around her neck.

The youngster was taken to the James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough, jurors were told, where she was declared dead.

Ms Rawden told the court that holding the inquest in front of a jury is necessary as she died in secure accommodation.

Describing the inquest process, she told jurors: “Witnesses you’re going to hear from will tell you about various aspects of Taylor’s life.

“You will hear about the circumstances leading up to her being there (at Aycliffe Secure Centre) and the work that was done there.

“You will hear about the events of the 18th February 2017, and what happened between 1pm and 4.40pm, when she was found.”

The inquest, which is scheduled to run until July 12, continues.

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