Girl Dies In Oxfordshire County Council Care

A grieving mother has demanded answers after her 15-year-old daughter was found hanged while in the care of Oxfordshire social services.

The body of Emily Casemore, a former pupil at Bicester Community College, was discovered in her bedroom at a care home in Hampshire last week.

She had been in the care of Oxfordshire County Council and was voluntarily accommodated in Tadley, near Basingstoke.

Her mother Sharon Casemore, of Leach Road, Bicester, said she wanted to know whether her daughter, who had been in and out of care for the past three years, had been let down by social services officials.

She said: “I’m so angry and bitter – a young girl’s life has been wasted. She should not be where she is – justice needs to be done. I’m very angry and need answers.”

Mrs Casemore said on the day her daughter died, Emily had gone by taxi to her secondary school in Henley, but had not attended lessons Instead, she understood the teenager had got drunk with friends and when she returned to the care home, had verbally abused staff, who ordered her to go to her room.

Mrs Casemore said when staff later went up to check on Emily, they found her dead.

The 46-year-old, who had not visited the home where Emily was living, said: “She was trying to get attention but, unfortunately, it went too far.”

She said she believed her daughter’s death was related to drink, but she also said she understood Emily had argued with one of her friends on the Friday before her death.

Mrs Casemore said her daughter had a history of harming herself with razor blades and taking drug overdoses and, in the past, had been excluded from school for the safety of other pupils.

The mother of five, who is separated from her husband, said Emily had first been taken into care by social services when she was 12.

She said: “She was uncontrollable and I just wanted her to be safe.”

Mrs Casemore, who admitted to having had a drink problem herself in the past, said her daughter had taken to getting drunk to get attention and had jumped into the River Thames when she was living at a home in Henley.

She said: “She went into care and then went from pillar to post and I felt that, one day, I would get a call saying she was dead.

“She was crying for help and everyone was turning a blind eye.”

An inquest is expected to be held into the teenager’s death early in the new year.

Andy Couldrick, head of early years and family support services at Oxfordshire County Council, said a review of the circumstances leading to Emily’s death would be carried out after the inquest had taken place .

He added: “Our sympathies lie with Emily’s family.

“As ever, in such tragic circumstances, a review will take place.”

Hampshire Police are not treating the teenager’s death as suspicious.