Teen died of drugs overdose

JON WELCH A 13-year-old boy died of a drugs overdose after running away from an isolated care home, an inquest heard yesterday. Jack Windsor-Monson, 13, could not face returning to the home run by Fenland Care at Welney, near Wisbech, the hearing at Norwich Magistrates' Court was told.

JON WELCH

A 13-year-old boy died of a drugs overdose after running away from an isolated care home, an inquest heard yesterday.

Jack Windsor-Monson, 13, could not face returning to the home run by Fenland Care at Welney, near Wisbech, the hearing at Norwich Magistrates' Court was told.

He was found dead in a bedroom at his mother's house in Long Lane, Bradwell, on August 20, 2004. He died of an overdose of morphine, having swallowed painkillers and other drugs prescribed to his mother, Sarah Windsor.

Yesterday the inquest was told how Jack had been a happy child who was doing well at school. But his problems began after his father Garie Monson, 33, died in a car crash following a pursuit by police in Gorleston in September 2002.

The inquest heard how Jack became withdrawn, spending hours playing computer games and that Ms Windsor had a nervous breakdown and turned to alcohol.

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Giving evidence, Mrs Windsor told how social workers became involved, and Jack was aggressive and angry towards them. He was being bullied at school and at one point hit himself with a hammer.

He was taken into care, staying at a number of different addresses in the months leading up to his death and frequently absconding, usually returning to his grandmother Linda Powell's house in Ivy Lane, Gorleston.

Ms Windsor described the last time she saw Jack on the day before he died. He had run away from the home at The Cottage, Welney, and was staying at his grandmother's house.

She met him while she was waiting for a bus from Gorleston to Norwich. The conversation lasted five to 10 minutes, during which time Jack told her he was meeting his brother later that day.

Ms Windsor said she gave Jack £2 to buy some sweets and told him she would not be at home that evening as she was staying with a friend in Norwich.

“Jack was ghostly white and he said 'Mum, I'm going insane'. He said he wanted to live, if not with me then with his nana, and wanted to be back with his brother and go to a normal school.”

The inquest heard Jack had moved to The Cottage on March 20, 2004.

Mrs Windsor hit out at Norfolk social services, saying: “None of us are perfect but as soon as social services became involved, that was the end of Jack.

“He was a 13-year-old boy who needed stimulus and there was nothing for him there.”

Giving evidence, Mrs Powell said she visited him every Sunday, making a round trip of nearly 150 miles, often with her son Jamie Monson, and her other grandchildren.

Mrs Powell said she was concerned at the lack of other children at the home, and the seemingly high turnover of staff.

She was also concerned at how Jack was being “criminalised”, having been reported to the police for instances of minor damage caused during moments of frustration. He was also self-harming, she said.

Over the next few months Jack absconded repeatedly from The Cottage. On August 17, 2004, he appeared in court at King's Lynn, charged with assaulting one of his carers, and pleaded not guilty.

“At the court hearing he was saying 'Get me out of here - I'm going mad,” Mrs Powell said.

The hearing continues.