Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Derek Brundrett inquest: Teenager's suicide was deliberate act

Derek Brundrett was found dead by his friend at Bush School in Pembroke. Credit: Family photo

A 14-year-old boy found hanged in his school's grounds did intend to take his own life, an inquest has concluded.

Derek Brundrett was found dead by his friends at Bush School in Pembroke in 2013. His mother told the inquest she'd made repeated attempts to refer her son to local mental health services but the coroner concluded there was no evidence of systemic failures.

Derek's mum, Kristina Wray explained the moment she received the phone call to say her son had killed himself:

"Not a feeling that I can actually describe because it does honestly feel like your heart’s going to burst and all I did that day was literally pray to God that he’d get me through it, for them for my boys, ‘cos if it wasn’t for them boys I don’t know where I’d be now but yeah, they’ve took my baby away."

Tuesday's verdict comes more than five years after the teenager's death. It found Derek was not referred for specialist psychiatric support in the months leading up to his death, despite efforts to do so. Derek had a history of angry outbursts and tantrums and at the time of his death had been living with a foster family.

Hywel Dda say they have undertaken significant work to develop their frontline mental health services. Credit: Family phot

Coroner Peter Brunton said he believed Derek set out intending to take his own life, knowing full well that his classmates would not find him in time to save him.

In his conclusion, he did identify individual failings including a failure to refer Derek for psychiatric support despite two attempts being made. His family were told that his needs were not severe or complex enough to involve specialist mental health services.

In a statement Hywel Dda health board said they have taken the matter extremely seriously and have undertaken significant work to develop their frontline mental health services. They say they have offered to meet with Derek’s family to reflect upon the lessons learned.

Pembrokeshire Council say Derek’s loss is deeply felt by the individuals who had formed close and caring relationships with him and say they will consider what lessons can be learned from his case.

The council said: "The death of a child is a profound loss, and all the professionals involved in this tragedy feel great sympathy for Derek and his family and friends."