Bereaved mum hopes inquest will answer questions over daughter’s death

A heart-broken Sunderland mum hopes an inquest will shine light on how her vulnerable daughter came to die.

Sue Robson’s daughter Tina Robson died in July 2020, leaving her 11-year-old son Vinnie heartbroken.

The 35-year-old had battled with addiction and mental health issues from a young age.

Tina was living at the Bridge House Mission in Stockton at the time of her death.

An inquest will be held at Teesside Magistrates Court next week and is scheduled to last up to four days.

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Considered a vulnerable adult, Tina was subject to a safeguarding enquiry and a Police Public Protection Order.

The charity-run housing at Bridge House Mission is funded by Stockton Borough Council as short-term accommodation for people in need of housing-related support, primarily individuals with ‘complex needs’.

Tina Robson with son Vinnie, in recent times and when he was born.

Tina died just six days after arriving.

The inquest will examine the cause and circumstances surrounding her death.

“We are determined to ensure a full and fearless inquest into Tina’s death,” said Sue.

"We need to fully understand the events that led up to her death and, hopefully, to ensure that other homeless women suffering life-long trauma and addiction are better treated, supported, and safeguarded.”

Tina’s family has been denied legal aid for the inquest and has had to crowdfund more than £5,000 to ensure they can be properly represented, with more still to raise.

Campaign group INQUEST has called for an expansion of legal aid for inquests.

“Tina’s death is part of wider patterns of the deaths of women who have faced significant trauma, and of people facing homelessness," said INQUEST senior caseworker Jodie Anderson.

"It is vital that the circumstances are fully examined to help end this cycle and prevent future deaths. This is in the public interest, yet her family have had to fundraise for legal support while those who were responsible for her care are represented at public expense.”

The Dying Homeless Project found there was a significant increase in deaths of homeless people in 2020, many in temporary or emergency accommodation.

Jessica Turtle, co-founder and director at Museum of Homelessness, said: "Each person, like Tina, leaves behind people who loved them fiercely. It’s a scandal that so many people in our community are dying in accommodation when they should be safer off the streets.”