Inquiry into death of Scottish schoolgirl, who died after viewing 'suicide guides'

A preliminary hearing will take place in October, five-and-a-half years after she died.
A preliminary hearing will take place in October, five-and-a-half years after she died.
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A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) has been ordered into the death of Sophie Parkinson, aged 13, who took her own life after viewing “suicide guides” online.

A preliminary hearing will take place in October, five-and-a-half years after she died.

Her mother Ruth Moss, 47, blamed NHS Tayside for the death, claiming Sophie would still be alive had she been given better care.

She said previous attempts Sophie had made to take her own life had been dismissed by the health board as “childish cries for help”.

Sophie, who first sought help from mental health services when she was just seven-years-old, had been chatting to adults online and looking at content relating to self-harm and suicide.

Mrs Moss previously said she believed NHS Tayside’s risk assessments were “hugely inadequate” and that NHS Tayside’s Child and Adolescent Health Services had not provided enough support to Sophie following her earlier suicide attempts.

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The Lord Advocate has now ruled an FAI should take place as Sophie’s death gives rise to a “serious public concern”.

A preliminary hearing will take place at Dundee Sheriff Court on October 21.

Sophie was a second-year pupil at the High School of Dundee.

She died in March 2014 at her family’s home in Liff on the outskirts of the city.

Her family launched their own legal proceedings against NHS Tayside last year.

Their action started just weeks after an independent review into mental health services in Tayside was launched.

An interim report by review chairman David Strang said suicidal patients were often not believed.

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The report was commissioned following a campaign by relatives of suicide victims who claimed their loved ones had been turned away from Carseview at Ninewells Hospital.

More than 1,300 people gave evidence to the inquiry, including patients, families, carers, organisations and NHS staff.

A spokesperson for NHS Tayside said they are unable to comment on the case as it is an active legal matter.

Dundee woman Gilly Murray is also hoping an FAI is launched into the death of her uncle David Ramsay, who took his own life after being turned away from the Carseview Centre.

The 50-year-old was found in Templeton Woods three years ago but Ms Murray said she is not optimistic an FAI into her uncle’s death will happen any time soon.

She said: “We’ve been fighting for three years – are they going to put us through five years of hell like Sophie’s family?”