Inquest dates set for Sunderland schoolgirls who died in care

Floral tributes left to 'Sarah Clerkson.
Floral tributes left to 'Sarah Clerkson.
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DATES have been set for inquests into the deaths of two Sunderland schoolgirls who died in care.

Sarah Clerkson and Danielle Formosa died in 2013. The 14-year-olds were placed in care by Sunderland’s authorities at the time.

A Serious Case Review (SCR) was launched by Sunderland Safeguarding Board (SSB) in the aftermath of the tragedies.

A previous review into the girls’ inquests, which is being handled as a single inquiry by the County Durham coroner’s office, heard the SCR is due to be shown to the families.

They were then to be given the chance to respond to its content and offer their views to the board, and it is understood the document will be published after the conclusion of the inquests.

While reviews were handled together by the coroner, separate hearings will be held into the death of the girls.

The first, which will be held to establish the circumstances of Sarah’s death on December 7, 2013, is scheduled to take place on the morning of Tuesday, May 26, at the coroner’s office at Crook Civic Centre.

A date has also been set for the inquest hearing of Danielle, who died 10 days after Sarah.

It is due to be held on the afternoon of Monday, June 1, also at the same court.

The inquest process has been hit by delays because of the length of time it has taken the board to put together the report, with SSB stating the way it is being compiled will help it better learn from what happened.

Sarah died at the University Hospital of North Durham after she was found hanged in a bedroom after a party in Spennymoor.

Danielle, a pupil at St Anthony’s Catholic Girls’s Academy, was found dead at a care home in Consett.