Serco at centre of British youth death

What privatisation gets you:

An inquest jury has blamed unlawful restraint methods for contributing to the youngest death in custody in Britain for more than a century and concluded there had been a serious system failure at the detention centre.

A rehearing ordered by the appeal court found today that the manhandling of 14-year-old Adam Rickwood and a “distraction” blow to his nose were “more than minimally” relevant to his suicide six hours later at Hassockfield secure training centre, County Durham, in August 2004.

The jury of four men and five women unanimously condemned the running of the centre as “an unlawful regime” with a “serious system failure in relation to the use of physical control in care” both before and at the time of Adam’s death.

The panel also criticised staff training done at the time at the facility, run by the private firm Serco, and the Youth Justice Board.