Teen bath fatality probe continues

KELSEY FLETCHER
Last updated 12:01 05/03/2014

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Investigations are continuing into the death of a high-needs teen who drowned in a bath while in respite care in Palmerston North.

Nathan Booker, 15, was found submerged in the bath at the Woburn Family Support Centre, run by Idea Services, in January.

A St John ambulance was called and he was taken to the Palmerston North Hospital intensive care unit.

He was taken off life support and pronounced dead later that night..

The Manawatu Standard asked Idea Services owner IHC New Zealand a series of questions, including what was the status of the investigation, if staff had been stood down and if complaints had been laid against the centre previously.

IHC national communications adviser Paula McArthur said the organisation was unable to comment as there were two external investigations under way.

Those investigations are being carried out by the coroner and WorkSafe New Zealand, the Crown agency that regulates workplace health and safety.

McArthur also cited privacy constraints relating to the release of information about both staff and other residents of Woburn Centre.

A police spokeswoman said the investigation was ongoing and staff were preparing to submit recommendations to the coroner.

"We remain in regular contact with the young man's family and we are also working closely with the care facility and WorkSafe New Zealand," she said.

"At this stage no decision has been made on charges."

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- Manawatu Standard

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