Nikolas Clarke represents local authority in Article 2 jury inquest into the death of 17-year-old SH

03 April 2023

Nikolas Clarke represented a local authority in an Article 2 jury inquest concerning the death by suicide of SH, a 17 year-old boy.

SH was a bright and articulate boy.  He had a history of emotional, drug and alcohol issues and had been accommodated by the local authority from the age of 15. However, he was difficult to engage.

Three days before his death he was arrested following an incident with his partner. He self-harmed in custody.

Two days later, and 1 month before his 18th birthday, he went to a local train station and took his own life.

The family were critical of social services’ care.

Inquest jury’s findings

The inquest jury recorded a narrative verdict of suicide stating that SH’s mental health and use of drugs and/or alcohol probably contributed to his death.

The jury listed other possible contributing factors including:

  • multiagency failure to share information (between the Metropolitan Police, British Transport Police, social services and/or mental health services)
  • lack of a rehabilitative placement
  • Metropolitan Police’s failure to seek an assessment of SH’s mental health by a Liaison and Diversion practitioner while in custody.