Nineteen-year-old is sixth teenager to die in custody in UK this year

By Neil Puffett

| 05 May 2011

A 19-year-old has been found dead in custody in Northern Ireland bringing the number of teenagers to die in secure units in the UK this year to six.

Six teenagers have died in custody this year. Image: Guzelian

Samuel Carson died shortly after 5pm on Wednesday 4 May at Hydebank Wood Young Offenders Centre in Belfast.

News of the death comes after five apparent suicides of teenagers in custody in the space of five weeks in England, prompting a call for an independent review of youth secure establishments.

Ryan Clark, 17, died at Wetherby young offenders' institution (YOI) in Yorkshire on 18 April; Mahry Rosser, 19, at New Hall YOI on 17 April; Nicholas Saunders, 18, at Stoke Heath YOI on 2 April; Trevor Llambias, 18, at Bedford Prison on 28 March; and Nicholas Wheller, 19, at Aylesbury YOI, on 16 March.

Helen Shaw, co-director at the charity Inquest, has said the youth secure estate appears "destabilised", and has called for an independent review.

The latest death, and that of a 23-year-old at the same establishment on the same day, is being investigated by Northern Ireland’s Prisoner Ombudsman.

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