A 14-YEAR-OLD boy who was the youngest person to die in a Durham prison was treated unlawfully by prison guards just hours before he hanged himself, an inquest heard.
Adam Rickwood’s mother, Carol Pounder, told jurors that she would be “locked up” if she had treated her son the way authorities did in the hours before his death.
Assistant Deputy Coroner Jeremy Freedman, who is leading the second inquest into his death, told the court how previous jurors were not informed that prison staff who used unorthodox methods to physically restrain Adam were acting “unlawfully and illegally” on the evening of August 9, 2004.
The 14-year-old, from Burnley, was found hanged by shoelaces in his cell by staff at Hassockfield secure training centre, in County Durham, whilst on remand for an alleged wounding charge.
Hours before his death, at 6pm, he was involved in an altercation with staff who ordered him to return to his cell from the social area he was in.
The order came after a note was passed to him by another inmate which contained “unflattering remarks” about a female member of staff.
When Adam refused to go back to his cell and instead sat on the floor in the communal area, back-up was called and he was physically removed.
Four officers restrained him – two holding his arms, one holding his head and one holding his legs.