Erskine bridge deaths: Timeline of tragedy
THERE were a number of events in the lead up to the tragedy that affected one or both of the girls.
August: Concerns are raised about Georgia Rowe’s mental health. A letter is written by East Ayrshire children and families unit to the Children and Adult’s Mental Health Service, part of which reads “(Georgia) says she is going to kill herself”.
Niamh Lafferty, aged 11, witnesses a street brawl between her father and another man, resulting in the death of the other man. She gives evidence at her father’s trial, at which he is cleared of murder.
June: Niamh is taken into care a day after her 14th birthday. The inquiry heard she had assaulted another pupil at Hermitage Academy in Helensburgh, which left the other pupil in hospital. She is taken to East King Street Centre in Helensburgh, but is later moved to the Good Shepherd Centre in Bishopton.
June: Georgia leaves her aunt’s home in Sorn, Ayrshire to be taken to a foster carer.
September: Georgia is placed in Merlin Bridge children’s home in Hull as her foster placement breaks down. She is then moved on to Sutton Place secure accommodation because of her increasingly wild behaviour.
October: Georgia is admitted to hospital when she collapses after taking drugs.
January: A report states Niamh’s father is “co-operating better” with social workers, and she is released back into her father’s care the next month at a hearing of the children’s panel.
February: Niamh’s boyfriend, Jonny McKernon, is found dead in his bed after an apparent drugs overdose.
March: Niamh is moved to the Good Shepherd Centre secure unit.
ApriL: Georgia is moved to the Good Shepherd Centre secure unit.
July: Niamh is moved to the East King Street home, which is not a secure unit, after a recommendation from social workers in light of “budget restraints and best use of resources.” The decision is made despite reports stating she is not ready to make “positive decisions about her own safety”. Niamh is later treated by doctors for a Valium overdose and is moved to the Good Shepherd open unit.
August: Georgia is moved to the Good Shepherd Centre open unit. The same month, Niamh cuts one of her wrists, requiring 16 stitches. She also phones her mother and tells her she is going to throw herself off the Erskine Bridge.
October: Niamh and Georgia leave the Good Shepherd Centre open unit on the evening of 4 October and make their way to Erskine Bridge.
June: The fatal accident inquiry begins at Paisley Sheriff Court, and hears its last witness that December.
May: Sheriff Ruth Anderson rules the deaths “may have been avoided” if the care home at which they stayed had taken “reasonable precautions.”
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Weather for Edinburgh
Wednesday 19 June 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West
Temperature: 12 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: East