Mid Wales

Jordan Woonton suicide 'partly' due to Pentwyn failures

Hillcrest sign at Pentwyn School, Powys

Failures by a children's home in Powys were partly to blame for a 15-year-old boy killing himself, a jury at an inquest has concluded.

The body of Jordan Kane Woonton, from Nottinghamshire, was found at the residential Pentwyn School at Clyro near Hay-on-Wye in June 2012.

The school was closed in December 2012 by Hampshire-based owners, Hillcrest.

Hillcrest said it gave tailored care to Jordan but a jury found it failed to assess his suicide risk.

It cited ineffective time management regarding administration, including handovers, risk assessments and daily logs, and said an adequate post-restraint policy was not in place.

It found no risk of suicide was identified as the home's risk assessment was not appropriately worded to consider this, and no additional measures were in place to appropriately assess risk of suicide or suicidal thoughts.

Hillcrest was fined £2,400 in 2014 after being prosecuted by the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales in relation to Jordan's death.

A statement from the company said: "The safety of those in our care is our utmost concern and following Jordan's death in 2012 we rigorously reviewed all our safety procedures to prevent another tragedy like this from occurring again.

"This remains the only suicide to ever occur in our long history of providing care."

Image copyright BBC news grab
Image caption Hillcrest said it was "profoundly saddened" by the teenager's death

Jordan, from Carlton, was taken into care by Nottingham City Council in 2010, but regularly tried to run away from children's homes so was moved to Pentwyn in an attempt to prevent him from absconding.

The school cared for boys with social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and accepted children from across the UK.

The inquest heard how the staff member in charge on the night of Jordan's death was not appropriately qualified and there was confusion as to who was in charge.

There was an incident on the night of Jordan's death involving another student spraying him in the face with a fire extinguisher which left him visibly distressed.

Many of the staff were not aware he had made previous threats to harm or kill himself before and during his time at Pentwyn.

'Horrific'

Jordan was the youngest of three brothers and enjoyed football, playing his guitar and developed an interest in fishing and golf once he was moved to Wales.

His mother Sally Woonton, 47, who works in the laundrette at Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust, said: "Jordan had problems yes, but he was let down badly by the system that was meant to be looking after him.

"When he was moved to Wales he used to call me and tell me how unhappy he was and how much he hated being there. His behaviour got worse and worse but I don't feel that anything was done by the staff at Pentwyn to try and improve the situation."

Jordan's father Alan Stevens, 48, added: "What we have been through is horrific and I don't want any other family to have to suffer like we have."

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