Inquest into death of Sunderland teenager Keaton Burton will hear about mental health trust's care during hearing

A inquest hearing will look at the mental health services treating a Sunderland teenager as part of the investigation into the death of the young man.

Thursday, 7th November 2019, 6:00 am
A JustGiving page was set up to help Keaton Burton's family following his death.

Assistant coroner Karin Welsh told the session, at Sunderland Civic Centre, that after consideration she would be taking into account Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights, which protects the right to human life and can take in the responsibilities of agencies as part of the state’s duty.

Keaton had been a voluntary patient and had been allowed short periods of leave from the unit to visit a shop or have a cigarette.

Ms Welsh said: “The question that we need to look at is obvious to me, when Keaton died, he was an inpatient as a voluntary inpatient in the care of the trust which effectively means is the question that I have is; what the mental health trust did to keep Keaton safe.”

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She added: “It seems clear from the case notes that Keaton had asked on occasions to be allowed out for longer periods of time and was persuaded against doing that and there's mention of occasions if he insisted leaving there was a conversation about detaining him.”

A serious incident report in relation to the unit where he was staying was also noted, as well as who had the authority on the ward to allow Keaton to leave.

Discussions were also held into whether a jury will hear the inquest, with Ms Welsh stating she would press ahead without one at this stage, but would hear representations from Keaton’s family if they felt one should be brought in.

The hearing was told the professional standards department from Northumbria Police was putting together a report after officers were involved in the search for Keaton after he left the unit.

The next pre-inquest hearing was scheduled for Thursday, January 16.

A JustGiving page was launched after Keaton’s death to help support his loved ones.