Teen's mother angry at suicide report

KIRSTY MCMURRAY
Last updated 05:00 22/02/2013

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The mother of a Taranaki teenager who committed suicide last year will be laying a complaint against the coroner after finding fault with his report.

The 16-year-old was found dead in his home last July and Coroner Tim Scott's findings were made public last week.

The boy's name and the names of those involved in the case were suppressed as they were entitled to privacy, but there could be some benefit from making public the circumstances of the boy's death "in the hope that it may at least reduce the chances of similar deaths in the future", Mr Scott said.

Following the publication of details of the report, the boy's mother spoke to the Taranaki Daily News about her son's death, problems with the coroner's findings and the trouble she encountered with most of the services she dealt with.

One point of contention was one section of the report which said a fortnight before the boy's death she had discovered he had been sneaking out of the house late at night to socialise with his friends.

She had told organisations dealing with the fallout of her son's death the exact opposite.

"I wish I had been aware that he was sneaking out the of house at night. I wish he had made just one mistake" an email she wrote said.

When she challenged the report, she was told there would be no opportunity for the record to be corrected.

A reply from Mr Scott's office said he would not enter into any further discussion.

"If there are errors in his factual assessment then those are unintentional and he apologises. The inquiry is complete, the findings are final and the inquiry is now closed," it said.

She said every step of the process following her son's suicide was fraught with problems, and she would receive emails from the coroner's office asking questions she had already provided the answers to.

"Did anyone even read my emails?"

Along with her trouble with the coroner's office, she struggled to get hold of the police's inquest officer on the two occasions she rang him.

She said she felt as though she had to push to move the investigation along, she suspected text messages on her son's phone were deemed a low priority and none of the authorities were interested in looking at her son's computer or social media accounts to help find out what had happened to him.

"It's not so much getting justice for him.

"It started off that way but now it's getting justice for me," the woman said.

"They have wronged me. This is about the service I have received and I know I should have received better service."

To add further insult to injury, information on the Coronial Services website did not prepare the woman to receive a bottle of her son's blood back when she had been expecting a card with spots of blood on it, and it wasn't delivered to the address she had expressly nominated.

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