Prosecution of the Priory Group following death of 14 year old girl

By agency reporter
January 6, 2019

Following a criminal investigation conducted by the Health and Safety Executive, a prosecution has been brought against the Priory Group for offences under Section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety Act in relation to the death of Amy El-Keria. 
 
On Wednesday 9 January 2019 the Priory will go before a District Judge in Brighton Magistrates’ Court in the first public hearing of the case. This hearing was initially due to take place on the 29 November 2018 but was adjourned due to a court administrative error. 
 
Amy El-Keria was a much loved 14 year old, with complex needs associated with multiple mental health diagnoses. She died whilst she was an NHS funded patient in a specialist children’s unit at Ticehurst House in East Sussex, a private psychiatric hospital run by the Priory Group.
 
She was found unresponsive with a ligature in her locked hospital room on 12 November 2012 and was pronounced dead the following day. An inquest jury in 2016 found neglect by the Priory had contributed to Amy’s death.

The charges are in relation to a possible breach of section 3 (1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, which states “It shall be the duty of every employer to conduct his undertaking in such a way as to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that persons not in his employment who may be affected thereby are not thereby exposed to risks to their health or safety.”
 
Amy El-Keria's family will make a statement at the end of the hearing.

* INQUEST https://www.inquest.org.uk/

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