'Cinderella' schoolgirl, 13, who hanged herself after running away from home had to wash every pot in the house and was banned from celebrating her birthday, inquest hears

School support workers described Amber as 'pleasant, bubbly and enthusiastic'

31 January 2019 - 08:29

A 13-year-old 'Cinderella' schoolgirl who ran away from home before she was found hanged in a hedgerow was ordered to 'wash every pot in the house' and told she couldn't celebrate her birthday because of bad behaviour, an inquest heard.

Amber Peat ran away from her home in Nottingham, when she was ordered to clean out a cool box after returning from a family holiday to Cornwall. 

The inquest at Nottingham Coroner's Court has previously been told Amber's mother and stepfather didn't report her missing for almost eight hours, and heard claims from teachers that she 'didn't get as much attention at home as would be considered normal'.

Today Joanne Robinson, a multi-agency team (MAT) manager at Derbyshire County Council also gave evidence, saying that Amber had been referred to have one-on-one meetings between with a youth worker.

Amber Peat (pictured above) hanged herself after fleeing home after a row with her stepfather

Amber Peat (pictured above) hanged herself after fleeing home after a row with her stepfather

Daniel Peat (right) Amber's stepfather, left Nottingham Coroner's Court today after saying he had comforted Amber during a school meeting 

Daniel Peat (right) Amber's stepfather, left Nottingham Coroner's Court today after saying he had comforted Amber during a school meeting 

The inquest heard that shortly after the sessions ended, in around April 2014, Amber ran away from home following an argument and eventually ended up at her school, Tibshelf Secondary, at 9pm at night. Her Head of Year, David Wallace, was contacted by a caretaker and called Amber's family – but they couldn't come to fetch her 'because their dog was in labour'. 

Mr Wallace caught up with Amber at school the next day, it was said, with the youngster claiming her parents had 'grilled' her over what she had told him. But they couldn't come in to discuss the matter with staff because they had 'been awake all night with the dog'. 

Shortly afterwards, the MAT team received a ‘case note’ from the school regarding a number of concerns about Amber. 

The inquest heard these included a fear she would ‘slip through the net’ when the family moved house, the fact they had ‘stopped calling the police’ when she ran away, and the failure to collect her when she turned up at school at night. 

It also referred to an occasion when she was ‘made to wash every pot in the house’ – and said Amber had claimed she ‘couldn’t celebrate her birthday this year because of her behaviour’.

Today contrasting images of Amber were revealed at an inquest into the 13-year-old's death.

School support manager Emma Dunn described her as 'pleasant, bubbly and enthusiastic girl, a lively character,' although she 'struggled to concentrate.'

Amber's mother Kelly Peat (pictured above)

Amber's mother Kelly Peat (pictured above)

She compared that with Amber's behaviour when called into a meeting with her mother Kelly and stepfather Daniel Peat.

In a statement read at the hearing, Miss Dunn said that it 'left her with an uneasy feeling.' At the inquest at Nottingham Council House, Miss Dunn said that Amber was 'quiet and withdrawn.'

She said: 'Amber was very different with how she presented.'

Amber's stepfather Daniel Peat told the hearing that he comforted Amber during the meeting in school.

'I put my arms around her, saying that it's going to be all right,' said Mr Peat. 

He told the inquest that a mentor was identified for Amber to 'contact one to one.'

The school meeting took place a year before Amber was found hanged in bushes on June 2, 2015. She walked out of her home three days before.

 

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