Kent

Father seeks answer for Cookham Wood Young Offenders Institution death

Daniel Adewole Image copyright Family handout
Image caption The 16-year-old suffered from epilepsy

A father has asked an inquest whether his teenage son was killed by the Prison Service rather than epilepsy.

Daniel Adewole, 16, was found unresponsive in his cell at Cookham Wood in Rochester, Kent, in 2015.

The inquest in Maidstone heard staff made six attempts to audibly rouse him but believed he was sleeping on the floor hidden beneath covers.

A medical witness also cast doubt on whether Daniel had an epileptic fit before he died.

Daniel's father David Adewole asked: "Is it the Prison Service that killed my son, rather than epilepsy? I was taking care of Daniel since he was a little baby."

Another medical witness, Dr Neil Soni replied: "We don't know when he fitted. The probability is it was some time before he was found."

He said Daniel may have died up to 30 minutes or even several hours before he was discovered dead at the young offenders institution.

"I don't see that the outcome would have been changed significantly," he added.

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Previously the inquest heard a member of the prison service went for a cigarette break when he could not find Daniel in his cell, and a second staff member decided not to enter the cell in case Daniel was hiding inside and used the opportunity to attack her.

During Tuesday's proceedings, the inquest heard that prison service staff kicked the door of Daniel's cell and shouted his name in their attempts to rouse him between 05:53 and 06:31 BST on 4 July 2015.

The cause of death has been given as sudden unexpected death in epilepsy and the coroner is due to give her conclusions on Wednesday.

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