Serious case reviews over deaths of Sunderland girls in care

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INQUESTS into the deaths of two Wearside schoolgirls who died while they were in care have been put back to allow for serious case reviews to take place.

Sarah Clerkson and Danielle Formosa, who were both aged 14, died just weeks apart late last year.

Sarah, originally from Sunderland, had been in the care of a foster family.

She was found hanged in a bedroom of a house in Spennymoor, County Durham, where a party had been taking place.

Danielle, known as Danni to friends, a pupil at St Anthony’s Catholic Girl’s Academy in Sunderland, was found dead at a care home in County Durham just weeks later.

The girls were friends on social networking site Facebook.

Yesterday, at Crook Coroner’s Court, a serious case review into the deaths of the girls was held.

Pc Jacqueline Sirrell, of Durham Police told the short hearing that in both the cases of Sarah and Danielle: “The local children’s safeguarding board are currently examining a serious case review in relation to this child.”

In response, coroner Andrew Tweddle said: “I do think it’s appropriate to allow that review to be completed.

“We will review matters on July 1.”

Following her death, Sarah’s grandparents, David and Linda Chapman, of Roker, told how the teen had moved schools from Sunderland to Durham about six weeks before her death after being fostered.

According to social networking sites, the schoolgirl, originally from Witherwack, had been the victim of bullying.

She was found at an address in Ash Grove, in Spennymoor, before being taken to the University Hospital of North Durham where she later died.

Her funeral took place at Holy Trinity Church in Southwick.

Danielle, a pupil at St Anthony’s Catholic Girl’s Academy in Sunderland, was found dead at East Farmhouse home in County Durham, on Tuesday, December 17.

Her funeral was held at St Benet’s RC Church, Monkwearmouth, later that month.

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