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Inquest: teenager commits suicide following death of Facebook friend

A 14-year-old found hanging in a children's home had written 'RIP Sarah' on her hot water bottle in tribute to a Facebook friend who was also in care and had recently died suddenly, an inquest heard.

Troubled Danielle Formosa, from Sunderland, was taken out of secure accommodation and taken to a home in Consett, County Durham, two weeks before she was found dead in December 2013.

That was despite a proper psychological assessment not taking place amid confusion between agencies as to who was responsible for it, coroner Andrew Tweddle heard.

He found that Danielle, who had a history of taking legal highs and may have been a victim of child sexual exploitation to pay for them, killed herself, and he formally recorded a conclusion of suicide.

A serious case review will report into Danielle's death, and that of Sarah Clerkson, also 14, and in care and from Sunderland, who was found hanging at a party the same month.

At a separate inquest last week Mr Tweddle recorded an open verdict into Sarah's death, as he could not be certain she meant to kill herself.


Fifty jobs under threat at Consett factory

Fifty jobs are under threat at Nampak Plastics in Consett, County Durham Credit: ITV

More than fifty jobs are under threat at a bottle making factory in Consett, County Durham.

Nampak Plastics has announced a 30-day consultation with staff about plans to close the plant. Eric Collins, Managing Director of Nampak Plastics said:

It is with regret that Nampak Plastics has entered into a period of consultation with a number of team members regarding the possible closure of the Consett site.

For commercial reasons, the business is looking at ways to reduce its cost base and these consultations are a result of that.

All affected staff are being spoken to about ways of reducing redundancy numbers and alternative employment.

– Eric Collins, Managing Director of Nampak Plastics

It is another blow for the town after 300 jobs were also lost at KP Snacks.

A 30-day consultation period has now started at the factory Credit: ITV


Two charged over theft of a 9-year-olds bike

A 33-year-old man and a 36-year-old woman, both local to Consett, were formally charged with handling stolen goods.

Three men and one woman, all from the Derwentside area, were arrested in connection with the burglary of three bicycles, including nine-year-old Tilly Lockey's specially-adapted model, which was later recovered, as she lost her hands and toes to meningitis in 2007.

The other two men, aged 26 and 29, were released with no further action for that offence, but the elder man was charged with cultivation of cannabis and the other was also bailed in relation to a drugs offence.

The 33-year old man and 36-year-old woman will appear before magistrates at Consett on the morning of Tuesday, 11th November.

Tilly and her mother Sarah Lockey at a fundraiser for a new bike. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Crisp firm 'regrets' closure plans

KP Snacks, the owners of the Phileas Fogg crisp brand, has confirmed proposals to close it's Medomsley Road factory in Consett.

The firm took over the brand when Derwent Valley Foods was bought by United Biscuits in 1993.

103 people are employed at the site. The firm also has a factory at Billingham on Teesside.

“KP Snacks can confirm that we have informed our colleagues at our Consett and Corby factories that, regrettably, in order to develop a sustainable and competitive manufacturing operation, we are proposing to close the sites and to transfer the production to other sites in our network.

“We operate in an increasingly competitive market and need to focus on our cost base in order to develop a sustainable business. Unfortunately, despite plans to grow our POM-BEAR business, our Corby factory is capacity constrained and has been for some time. Now KP Snacks and Intersnack UK have integrated to form a larger UK business, we have the opportunity to expand our POM-BEAR business in the most cost-efficient manner at our larger Teesside site. In addition, after many years of working hard to try and grow our Consett volume, and despite the growth of Phileas Fogg, the under-utilisation of the site has created an unsustainable situation.

“We have 1,800 employees in the UK and have invested £30m across our sites over the past 18 months. We are committed to keeping a manufacturing base and maintaining as many jobs as we can in the UK and we are working to ensure we do this in the most effective way, allowing us to ensure a sustainable future for our overall business.

“We very much appreciate the hard work, commitment and focus on quality of our Corby and Consett colleagues during this difficult time and we will work closely with them as we consult on this proposal in the coming weeks. These are only proposals at this stage and are subject to the appropriate consultation with our colleagues. No final decisions have yet been made.”

– Nick Bunker, CEO, KP Snacks
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