Following our own account of the detail of Sheriff Ruth Anderson’s report on the deaths by suicide of the teenagers Niamh Lafferty and Georgia Rowe, (Niamh Lafferty death: how does council social services excuse its own multiple failures?) Kenneth Roy, writing in the online Scottish Review which he edits, has come to the same unequivocal conclusion – that these deaths were avoidable.
The article is the third part of a series and is entitled ‘The expert view is wrong. These deaths could have been prevented.’
Mr Roy picks out some key pieces of evidence from the Sherrif’s report to show how he has reached this view. He has been struck sharply by the same bizarre fact we had found painfully telling: that Naimh Laffery (and, as it turns out, also Georgia Rowe) had absconded from the Open Unit at the Good Shepherd Home at Erskine – not to run away but to break IN to the Secure Unit where she had previously been placed.
He also homes in on the indefensibly irresponsible actions and decision by social workers at management level from Argyll and Bute Council and, more mercifully than we felt compelled to be, omits much of it.
At the end of his article, in a section he has entitled ‘Epitaph’ – Roy asks a question that is the heart of the matter. Will it ever be answered – and if it is – what will be the proof of veracity of that answer? Read it. And ask that question.