Nottingham

Amber Peat: Hanged girl 'humiliated by stepdad's punishments'

Amber Peat Image copyright Other
Image caption Teachers said they were concerned Amber's behaviour could deteriorate if she had to move schools again

A girl told her teacher her stepfather forced her to wear "ridiculous" trousers to school to humiliate her months before she was found dead, an inquest heard.

Amber Peat's body was found in bushes after she went missing in May 2015.

Her form tutor Rebecca Beard told the hearing Amber said she had to carry her belongings in a carrier bag as a punishment for bad behaviour.

She emailed her concerns to staff at Queen Elizabeth's School.

Nottingham Coroner's Court heard Amber had moved to the school in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, in July 2014.

Ms Beard said she became concerned for Amber's welfare after she came in "devastated" while wearing baggy grey jogging bottoms instead of normal school trousers one day in March 2015.

"The other children in the classroom thought that she had actually wet herself, because it was so unusual that someone would be wearing something like that," she said.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Floral tributes and messages to Amber Peat were left near where her body was found

The inquest heard Amber told her teacher she was forced to wear them by her stepfather Daniel Peat, and that she had been punished for bad behaviour over the weekend.

Ms Beard said Amber told her she was woken up in the night to finish chores she was told she had not completed, and was not allowed to go to bed until 01:30 after being made to clean the floor for an hour.

She said this was "obviously of concern", and when Amber later came in with a plastic bag carrying belongings instead of her normal schoolbag, she was told it was another punishment.

Ms Beard sent an email on 16 March 2015 to the school's safeguarding staff saying she was concerned Amber was "being emotionally abused" at home.

The email also highlighted other worries, such as Amber being "always hungry", losing weight and wearing school trousers she had outgrown.

Image caption Amber's body was found in Westfield Lane, about a mile from her home in Bosworth Street

Following the email Karen Green, vice principal at Queen Elizabeth's at the time, said she asked Amber's key worker Sharon Clay to contact the Nottinghamshire multi-agency safeguarding hub (MASH).

A transcript of the call read in court recorded Ms Clay being advised to contact Amber's mother Kelly about her daughter's account, and if there were any concerns to get back in touch regarding a potential referral.

Ms Clay - who told the court she had a good working relationship with both Amber and her family - said she was "quite uncomfortable" with contacting Kelly over her daughter's disclosure, and though the mother's account differed from Amber's, she did not get back in touch with MASH.

The inquest continues.

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