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Great Britain

Family of Bradford student found dead at university hope inquest will provide answers

THE family of a university student whose body was found in her halls of residence after friends raised the alarm are hoping an upcoming inquest will provide them with answers.

Ceara Thacker, 19, a first year philosophy student at the University of Liverpool, originally from Bradford, was found dead on May 11 last year.

An inquest examining the events leading up to Ceara’s death is now to take place at Liverpool Coroner’s Court, before Area Coroner Anita Bhardwaj.

Ceara's family, including dad and stepmum, Iain and Sue Thacker, have instructed specialist lawyers from Irwin Mitchell and Garden Court Chambers to represent them. They couple are joined in their search for answers by Ceara’s mum and stepdad, Lorraine Dalton-Thacker and Nick Dalton.

Agencies including the University of Liverpool and Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust, which had contact with Ceara before her death, will also be represented at the inquest.

Mr Thacker, 56, from Guiseley, said: “Ceara was such a fun-loving and infectious person who had the kindest smile. She was such an intelligent and popular person and we are all absolutely devastated that she is no longer with us.

“When she left to go to university she seemed to be excited to be starting a new chapter in her life. We cannot believe that just a few months later she had died. It is so difficult to try and put into the words the effect her death has had on our family. We miss her every day.

“We know that the inquest is going to be a distressing time but our family needs to know what happened to our girl when she was away from home.”

Ceara started a philosophy degree at the University of Liverpool - her first choice university – in September 2017.

Gus Silverman, a public law and human rights lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing the family, said: “Ceara’s death has been a tragedy for her family and friends. The family now hope that a thorough investigation in the coroner’s court can at least provide them with answers to the many questions they have about what happened in the lead up to her death. It is vitally important that any lessons which can be identified from Ceara’s death are learned and implemented without delay.”

Selen Cavcav, Senior Caseworker at the charity INQUEST which has been working with Ceara’s family, said: “Inquests perform a vital function in examining and exposing any gaps in the systems intended to keep people safe. As another university year begins and thousands of young people leave home, the urgency of addressing any such gaps is clear.”

The inquest is due to start on Monday and is scheduled to last for six days. It will consider:

• The processes and procedures within the University of Liverpool when dealing with students who have mental health conditions

• The care and treatment afforded to Ceara by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust

• The sharing of information between NHS agencies and the University of Liverpool

• The care and treatment provided to Ceara by her GP (the Brownlow Hill Medical Centre) in relation to her mental health

• The information sharing and communication between Ceara’s GP surgery and the wider NHS

• The events of May 11, 2018

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