Inquest into death of teenager while under the care of Pembrokeshire County Council is moved out of the county
10:59am Friday 18th July 2014 in News
THE inquest into the death of a 14-year-old girl who died while in the care of Pembrokeshire County Council in 2012 will no longer be held in the county, after Her Majesty’s coroner ‘relinquished jurisdiction’.
The mother of teenager Seren Bernard, Sarah Pollock, has been waiting more than two years for answers about her daughter’s death and says she has spent much of that time fighting for information from the Local Authority.
She said she had been told of the relocation of the inquest hearing that it was due to a ‘conflict of interest’.
A summary report into Seren’s death was published in January found that there were a number of lessons to be drawn from the case but added it ‘must remain uncertain whether there were any steps that, if taken, would have prevented’ her death.
Sarah had previously expressed concerns about how her child was cared for by the council and is still trying to gain access to the full report into what happened to Seren.
Seren is understood to have taken her own life.
A pre-inquest hearing is due to be held on July 25 by Swansea and Neath Port Talbot senior coroner Philip Rogers at Swansea.
Sarah hopes that the ‘scope’ of Seren’s inquest will be decided at the hearing, as she pushes for it to be heard under article 2 of the European Court of Human Rights which would ask ‘whether the authorities knew, or ought to have known, of a real and immediate risk to the life of an individual and that they failed to take measures which could have avoided that risk’.
Sarah hopes she will also be given a date for when a full inquest will be held following a lengthy delay.
“I’m in a very frustrating and sad situation. I am agrevied that this has been prolonged for so long,” she added.
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