Liam McManus

Liam McManusBoy, 15, is found hanged in prison cell

Compiled from the BBC and other sources
published by 4WardEver Campaign

Any news updates on this case will be listed at the foot of this item

A 15-year-old boy has died after being found hanged in his cell in Lancashire, the Prison Service has confirmed. Liam McManus, of St Helens, Merseyside, was discovered by staff at Lancaster Farms Young Offenders’ Institution on Thursday morning (29 November 2007). Staff and paramedics tried to resuscitate him but he was pronounced dead at the facility.

The teenager was sentenced to one month and 14 days for breaching a supervision order. A Prison Service spokesman said he was in a single cell but had not been identified as being at risk of self-harm.

A statement from the service said: “Our deepest sympathies are with Liam’s family and friends. ”As with all deaths in custody this will be investigated by the Prison and Probation Ombudsman.” The last under-18 death at Lancaster Farms was Gareth Price, 16, who was found hanged in January 2005.

Kathy Evans, Policy Director at The Children’s Society, comments on the death in custody of Liam McManus, aged 15 years, on 29 November 2007:

”Today’s tragic news is further evidence that locking children up is dangerous and that the youth justice system is unable to keep them safe. Thirty children have now died in custody since 1990 and thousands more children who have been assessed as vulnerable are locked up every year. The system is simply unfit for purpose and has been in desperate need of reform for many years.

There is a real opportunity to take action now to prevent this happening again. The Government should use the Criminal Justice and Immigration Bill currently before Parliament to ensure that children are only ever imprisoned as a last resort, in establishments that can give them the care, support and protection that they urgently need.

The new joint responsibility for youth justice shared between the Department for Children, Schools and Families and the Ministry of Justice also offers hope that the welfare of the child will be given greater priority in a system that until now has favoured punishment over protection.”

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Follow-up News:

Care teams blamed for boy’s death
13 November 2009

Head teacher pay tribute to Liam
5 December 2007

Boy, 15, found hanged
30 November 2007

Protest at new death in custody
30 November 2007

15 year old boy dies in custody (pdf file – off-site)
29 November 2007

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