Amber Peat, 13, who hanged herself following a row over chores, 'blamed herself' for family problems
A serious case review into the death of 13-year-old Amber Peat suggested she blamed herself for difficulties in the family, with authors concluding the teenager's death could not have been predicted
A serious case review concluded that the death of Amber Peat, 13, "could not have been predicted" after she was found hanged in a bush after a family argument, despite a coroner claiming there had been 11 missed chances to save the embattled teenager's life.
Three days after Amber went missing from her home following a heated argument with her mother over household chores, her body was found in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. According to the review, there was a lack of planning in the care she received, forcing her to believe "she was to blame for many of the difficulties within the family," Daily Mail reports.
Medical practitioners admitted their understanding of Amber's life was limited despite her opening up about her problems with two of her previous schools and also with a youth worker. Factors that led to the absence of communication between respective agencies included the family frequently moving houses, a lack of recording in primary schools, a failure in following policies and procedures, and the family being unable to transfer information pertaining to Amber's condition, the review suggested.
In February, Assistant Coroner Laurinda Bower recorded a narrative conclusion at an inquest into the teenager's death, suggesting agencies had missed 11 opportunities that could have prevented the tragedy. She also noted that the teenager was once awoken from sleep and forced to scrub the floor at 1.30 am, and that her stepfather had forced her to wear a "ridiculous" outfit to school in a bid to humiliate her.
While Amber's mother Kelly Peat and stepfather Danny Peat insisted the allegations were lies, they were later described by the coroner as "not concerned in the slightest" about the youngster's welfare. On May 30, 2015, the couple decided to go shopping, have the family car washed, and have tea before finally alerting authorities almost eight hours after the teenager had left the residence at Bosworth Street, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
The search for Amber saw up to 400 police staff work in unison before they eventually found her body on June 2.
"This review established that while there were concerns for the emotional well-being of (Amber), it could not have been predicted that she would take her own life," authors wrote in conclusion of the report. The review also concluded that Amber's "needy" behavior may have stemmed from witnessing the "domestic abuse" between her biological father and mother.
"We owe it to Amber to learn from what happened and Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board commissioned an independent serious case review to examine what would lead to improvements in the way that agencies work to keep children safe," said Chris Few, independent chairman of the Nottinghamshire Safeguarding Children Board. "Action was commenced to address learning from the review as soon as it was identified and extensive work has been undertaken to ensure that safeguarding systems are as robust as they can be."