London

Mum of canal death teenager 'wished she had not called police'

Jack Susianta
Image caption Jack Susianta's mother said he was "sporty and enthusiastic"

The mother of a 17-year-old boy who died in a canal during a police search has told a jury she wishes she had not dialled 999 for help.

Jack Susianta was reported missing from his home in Hackney, east London, in July last year, an inquest heard.

His mother Anna said her son, who died in the canal at Walthamstow Marshes, had taken the drug MDMA at a festival the week before.

She said he had been "scared" and "trying to get away" from police.

Ms Susianta told St Pancras Coroner's Court her son was "sporty, enthusiastic and keen to enjoy life", but that he had a few anxieties and paranoia.

Image copyright Metropolitan Police
Image caption Jack Susianta died in July last year

She spoke of how the family tried to keep Jack calm after he had taken MDMA at a music festival with friends in the previous week.

The family alerted the police when Jack punched his brother and best friend Sam in the face after finding the front door of their home locked.

He then "karate-kicked" his way through a window and fled. He was in his boxer shorts and socks.

The former teacher said: "When I called 999 I said he has got mental health issues. He is scared of the police and just trying to get away.

"In retrospect, after he died, I wished I had not called them. He might have had a better chance of survival."

Image caption Tributes were left at the canal where Jack Susianta's body was recovered

Witnesses have claimed police refused to enter the water to save the teenager. But the Metropolitan Police have denied this, saying one officer risked his life and entered the water.

The inquest continues.

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