Further delays over public inquiry into young offender’s death

The mother of Joseph Scholes, the 16-year-old who killed himself in Stoke Heath Young Offender Institution in 2002, might have to wait another three months to hear if there is to be a public inquiry into his death.

Following a two-day legal challenge brought this week by Yvonne Scholes, Court of Appeal judges yesterday reserved judgment on whether to overturn the government’s refusal to hold a public inquiry, saying a ruling was unlikely before Ocotober.

During the hearing, Yvonne Scholes’ barrister, Tim Owen QC, said Joseph had died in “wretched circumstances” when he was found hanging from a sheet tied to the bars of his cell window.

Owen argued that Joseph, who had a history of self-harm, was “inappropriately detained” in a young offender institution rather than a local authority secure children’s home.

Yvonne Scholes appealed after January’s High Court ruling backing the government’s decision not to hold a public inquiry .

The call for a public inquiry into Joseph’s death is backed by Community Care and more than 100 MPs.





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