Tees

Taylor Williams: Staff checked on teen 'every five minutes'

Taylor Williams Image copyright Nick Holden
Image caption Taylor Williams had a history of self-harming, the inquest heard

A teenager found dead at a secure children's home was checked on by staff every five minutes on the day she died, an inquest has heard.

Taylor Williams, from Worcester, was found with a ligature around her neck in her room at the Aycliffe Secure Centre, County Durham in February 2017.

The jury heard the 17-year-old had a history of self-harming.

A house manager at the home said "she had a place and understood that she was valued".

The jury was shown CCTV of Taylor returning to her room at 12:33 GMT, and staff would then observe her every few minutes by looking through a glass panel in the door of her room.

At 16:29, following a further check, a member of staff could be seen running down the corridor to alert colleagues.

Manager Caroline Eubank told the hearing that before her death Taylor "became a bit of a house mother", making sure other residents ate their meals.

The teenager was also "very interested in staff", wanting to know all about them and their holidays.

Ms Eubank said she was "a very complex young lady".

Her levels of self harm varied, "her mood would very quickly drop" and she would "try to find any implement possible" to harm herself, she said.

Image caption Aycliffe Secure Centre is a facility for at-risk youngsters

The teenager would make ligatures and hide them in her underwear, the inquest heard.

The jury was told Taylor, who was under the care of Worcestershire County Council, had self-harmed "for some time".

But although there had been 34 incidents of her self-harming when she arrived at the centre in July 2016, that had dropped to one by February 2017.

The inquest continues.

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