An inquest to determine the circumstances around the death of a teenage boy in a care home in Pembrokeshire will take place later this year.

Luke Evans, who was 16, was found dead on June 9 2021 at Upper House in Solva.

This week Pembrokeshire Coroner Paul Bennett held the final pre inquest hearing and said that the full inquest would take place over three days between September 1 and December 31 this year.

The hearing on Thursday, April 18, was attended by Luke’s foster father Martin Evans as well as the agencies involved in Luke’s care.

At previous hearings Mr Evans had said that he was ‘flabbergasted’ by the amount of self-harm Luke had suffered while in care and that he felt his foster son’s sleeping medication had been reduced without him seeing a specialist face to face.

He also questioned whether Luke’s sleep patterns were being properly monitored, saying that he had been left unattended for 12 hours which did not amount to monitoring his sleep pattern.

Luke had previously lived in Staffordshire but had moved to Solva in 2017 after his foster parents ‘reached a crisis being able to manage him at home’.

Speaking at an earlier hearing, Martin Davies on behalf of Marlowe Child and Family Services Care Agency, which runs the Solva care home, said the shock of Luke’s death was still affecting staff at the care home.

“The home was deeply affected by the events of Luke’s death and a number of staff have been receiving counselling and ongoing support right up until now,” he said.

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At yesterday’s hearing Mr Bennett determined the scope of the inquest and the witnesses at today’s hearing, also deciding whether witnesses would give their evidence in writing or in person before the court.

He said that at this point he did not believe that Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights should be engaged in the final inquest.

The article states governments, or state agencies, should take appropriate measures to safeguard life and provides the coroner with a bigger remit and extra scope to investigate, in circumstances where an individual may have been relying on protection from the State.

Instead, the coroner said the hearing would be a Jamieson inquest. It is common for Jamieson inquests to be heard where the death occurred in a medical context, or where the deceased was in police or other custody.

In a Jamieson inquest the coroner will consider whether a lack of care or common law neglect has led to the cause of death of the deceased.

The final inquest into the circumstances surrounding Luke’s death is scheduled to last three days and will take place sometime between September 1 and December 31 this year.

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