Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C


Brandon/Essex: Rebecca Watkins, 16, had told a friend she wanted to take her own life, inquest hears

18:17 22 April 2014

Coroner Dr Peter Dean.

Coroner Dr Peter Dean.


A teenager who was found hanging at a children’s home in Brandon had said she wanted to kill herself on the anniversary of her best-friend committing suicide, an inquest has heard.


Rebecca Watkins, 16, from Essex, was confirmed dead at West Suffolk Hospital on June 17, 2009, after staff from Evergreen Children’s Home in Bury Road found her in her room the previous day.

A Serious Case Review which was held following her death said Essex County Council’s Children’s Services made little effective intervention in their attempt to protect her.

Today is the start of a full inquest which is being held at the Farmers’ Club in Bury and is due to last for a week.

The inquest heard Rebecca, who had cerebral palsy and learning difficulties, was moved to the children’s home in April 2009 as her foster carers felt they could no longer cope.

Looking at a report by Detective Sergeant Mike Game, Coroner Dr Peter Dean said during the evening of June 16 Rebecca, who suffered from depression, went for a walk with a friend, referred to as resident B.

In the report Det Sgt Game said Rebecca was upset and told resident B about a previous significant assault she alleged had happened.

“She also mentioned...the following Friday was the anniversary of her best-friend killing herself and you tell us according to resident B Rebecca had said she was going to take her own life on that Friday,” Dr Dean said.

The inquest heard she had made a significant allegation of assault before her time at the children’s home, but it is believed she was notified by Essex Police in May 2009 to say there was insufficient evidence.

Detective Chief Inspector Adrian Randall said: “There was no suspicious evidence leading to her death and no neglectful care exhibited by any staff at the home on the night of her death or by the care home manager.”

The inquest continues.



Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Ipswich Star visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Ipswich Star staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Ipswich Star account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Felixstowe mayor Doreen Savage switches on the lights helped by Elise Gorski, Peggy Osborne, and Ash and Lila Tadjrishi.

It’s a problem faced by millions of families across the country every year.

Domestic violence reports increase

Domestic violence reports soared by 12% in Suffolk last year with more than 2,000 recorded incidents involving male victims, police have said.

The close-knit Smith family in 2006: Matt, Wendy, Nikki and Barry

It can be upsetting and lonely having a child with a disability, but Wendy Smith would rather shout about the many positives. Steven Russell hears how love and kindness trumps any anger and bitterness

Woman conned by bogus caller (Stock photo)

A Hadleigh woman who lost £2,500 in a police scam has warned others to be alert to the crime.

Members of the nursing team at Ipswich Hospital.

Carers and visitors of people being looked after at Ipswich Hospital will next month be able to spend more time with patients as new extended visiting hours are introduced.

She was last seen in the area of Downside Close in Ipswich.

A woman reported missing to police on Saturday has been found safe and well following a public appeal.

Part of Sue Brooks' photograph of pupils and staff at Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, in 1952. Are you in the picture?

I recently asked readers if they had memories of Fonnereau House School, Ipswich, which was in Fonnereau Road, close to High Street.

Essex police are investigating a robbery at Jaywick.

An 88-year-old Essex man suffered a broken hip when he was knocked to the ground by robbers who burst into his Jaywick home.

Doors reopen on the new look East of England Co-op Daily store in Woodbridge Thoroughfare. Staff members, left to right, Chloe Williams, James Buckles, Shirley Pierce.

Shoppers were greeted by the sight of a new-look Co-op on their high street yesterday, when a Suffolk branch of the store reopened following three weeks of refurbishment.

HGV drink-driver in court

A lorry driver carrying a trailer full of wine has admitted dangerous driving when weaving between lanes on the A14 while three times over the drink-drive limit.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24