A FAMILY has been left without answers as to how their teenage daughter sustained a head injury that caused her death.
At an inquest into the death of 17-year-old Shannon Aspin, senior coroner Michael Singleton said he felt he had ‘failed’ the family after recording an open conclusion.
Mr Singleton said there were two possibilities - that it was accidental death or an unlawful killing.
Shannon was found with head injuries outside a house in St Gabriel’s Avenue in Blackburn on July 28 and died in Royal Preston Hospital five days later.
The inquest heard she had been arguing with her boyfriend Dylan Osbaldeston, who was asked to attend the inquest but did not show up, the day she was found with the injury.
He was arrested but later released without charge.
Giving evidence Det Insp Julie Cross said on July 28, Dylan claimed he went to work around 10am, which was disputed by his boss, returned about 2.30pm and went to his dad’s house with Shannon in Clayton-le-Moors at around 6pm.
The two argued and Shannon walked off before returning to the house where she was seen ‘screaming and shouting outside’.
When they returned home Shannon complained she had a headache and was seen lying on the settee ‘staring into space’. She was unsteady on her feet and had been sick. Dylan told police it ‘appeared she had taken something’.
After she went outside to get some fresh air, he saw her in the neighbour’s garden being helped into an ambulance.
The inquest heard Shannon made no allegation that she had been assaulted, there was no CCTV evidence she had been and there were no witnesses.
Dr Philip Lumb told the inquest her symptoms, including seizures, were conducive with a head injury and there could have been an interval between the injury and the symptoms appearing. Although he found no injuries to suggest she had been physically assaulted he could not ‘exclude the possibility that she had been pushed with an open hand which caused her to fall backwards’.
A toxicology report carried out some hours later found evidence of cannabis and a sedative in her system.
Mr Singleton said the cause of death was a head injury which was sustained some time during July 28 but he had to reach an open conclusion.
He said: “I feel I have failed you and Lancashire Police feel the same.
“I know from extensive files that the police investigation has been a very thorough one seeking to leave no stone unturned.
“I have looked into all these things as far as I can and I cannot give you the answer you are entitled to.”
“I do not believe Dylan Osbaldeston being here would have assisted that.”