THE heartbroken dad of tragic schoolgirl Amber Peat has lashed out at social services bosses who failed her, saying: “Nobody buries their 13-year-old daughter”.
Amber, 13, was found hanged in bushes near her home in Mansfield, Notts, in 2015, three days after storming out during a row with her parents over household chores.
Enterprise News and Pictures Amber Peat was found hanged in June 2015
BBC Adrian Cook spoke of his anger over his daughter’s death
An inquest into her death last week concluded authorities had missed repeated warning signs which could have saved Amber’s life.
The hearing was told the 13-year-old had reported to teachers that she was forced to scrub the floor until 1.30am.
Her mother, Kelly Peat, and stepfather Danny Peat, insisted the accusations were lies, but were described as “not concerned in the slightest” about Amber’s welfare by coroner Laurinda Bower at the conclusion of the inquest on Friday.
Adrian Cook, Amber’s biological father, fought back tears as he blamed social services for her death and spoke of the pain of having to carry on his life without his daughter.
He told the BBC: “Nobody buries their 13-year-old daughter.
“To me these bureaucrats, these social workers, they need to really look at the system in place because Amber wasn’t the first and she certainly won’t be the last.”
CORONER BLASTED MOTHER AND AUTHORITIES OVER AMBER’S DEATH
Speaking at the end of the four-week inquest on Friday, coroner Laurinda Bower said: “If the agencies had responded to safeguarding concerns in the appropriate manner it is possible that Amber’s death may not have occurred in the way that it did.
“In evidence, both Mr and Mrs Peat sought to present as concerned parents.
“Mrs Peat said she repeatedly asked Amber what was wrong but she would not answer.
“Mrs Peat said that as soon as she heard the door slam, she went to look for Amber.
“Their behaviour in going to the supermarket and then the car wash, of leaving a missing Amber with no way of getting into the property, and of waiting some seven and a half hours before calling the police, in fact fits squarely with the picture that neither of them was concerned in the slightest when Amber left the house.
“Perhaps in light of the tragic outcome, both Mr and Mrs Peat would wish to believe that they demonstrated more care when Amber went missing.”
If the agencies had responded to safeguarding concerns in the appropriate manner it is possible that Amber’s death may not have occurred in the way that it didCoroner Laurinda Bower
Turning to agencies involved in Amber’s welfare, the coroner said: “Considering Amber’s age, her emotional immaturity and her undoubted vulnerability, and the absence of any professional ever having properly assessed Amber’s risk of self harm or suicide, I am not able to determine, on the balance of probabilities, Amber’s intention at the time of her death.
“My task has been hindered by the lack of information gathered by professionals as to Amber’s thoughts, wishes and feelings.
“If the right questions had been asked, the information may have presented itself but I cannot speculate as to what that information may have indicated.”
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Mr and Mrs Peat admitted that neither of them were worried when Amber stormed out of her home in Bosworth Street, Mansfield, on May 30, 2015, because they believed she was “close by” and expected her to return.
Despite the youngster having a history of running away, Mrs Peat only called police to report her missing nearly eight hours later, at 12.56 am the following day.
Although up to 400 police staff were involved in the search for Amber, her body was found on June 2.
Kelly Peat’s solicitor reads statement outside court after inquest into Amber Peat’s death
Caters News Agency Amber’s stepdad Danny Peat arriving at Nottingham Coroner’s Court on Friday
Kelly Peat outside the court
Peat’s solicitor reads her statement outside the court
Caters News Agency Adrian Cook arriving at Nottingham Coroner’s Court last week
PA:Press Association/PA Images Amber vanished for three days before police found her
Enterprise News and Pictures Amber stormed out of her home in Mansfield, West Mids, following a clash with her stepdad
Paul Tonge – The Sun Amber’s mum Kelly Peat breaks down as they appeal for information just after she went missing in Mansfield, in 2015
Paul Tonge – The Sun Amber’s disappearance sparked a huge search
PA:Press Association Amber was said to be “humiliated” by her stepdad who forced her to wear tracksuit bottoms to school
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