Girl who killed self wrongly assessed: Inquest

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

A 12-year-old girl, who is believed to have taken her own life while in state care, was not correctly assessed as a suicide risk, an inquest has heard.

A coronial hearing in an Auckland court opened today to investigate the 2008 death of Krystal, whose surname is permanently suppressed.

She was in a foster home when her seven-year-old sister found her with what were believed to be self-inflicted injuries.

The inquest heard today that there were mistakes during Krystal's suicide risk assessment, 3 News reported.

Her risk was assessed at level three, when in fact it was almost four-times higher.

"Had it been interpreted correctly it is possible that further intervention may have occurred to determine whether Krystal was suffering from a mental health disorder," Ministry for Social Development's Marion Heeney, who was the regional director for Child Youth and Family at the time, said.

Krystal's carer was never told the extent of the girl's alleged sexual abuse or that she had undergone a suicide risk assessment, 3 News said.

CYF accepted there were areas where best practice was not followed, and that there was a four-day delay in moving Krystal and her siblings from the home where the alleged abuse occurred.

The coroner will determine the circumstances around Krystal's death including whether there were mistakes made by government agencies.


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