Adam Rickwood’s mum in tribute to prison campaigner Pauline Campbell

2:18pm Saturday 17th May 2008

By Chris Hopper

THE mother of Burnley schoolboy Adam Rickwood - the youngest person to die in British custody - has paid tribute to a fellow young offenders campaigner found dead next to her daughter's grave.

And Carol Pounder, of Greenock Close, Burnley, said the Government must shoulder some of the responsibility for the death of Pauline Campbell, who took a suspected overdose of sleeping pills.

Mrs Campbell had campaigned tirelessly for the rights of young and female prisoners after her 18-year-old daughter Sarah died at Styal Pprison, Cheshire, in 2003. Mrs Pounder knew her from prison protests she attended after Adam, 14, died at Hassockfield Secure Training Centre, County Durham, in 2004.

An inquest ruled that staff at the facility were not to blame.

She said: "Pauline's death is a disaster.

"She was a nice lady and she just wanted justice for her daughter and she did a lot with her prison campaigns. She was a tireless campaigner."

Mrs Campbell offered support to Adam's family after his death and said it was "completely unacceptable" they had to wait more than two years for an inquest.

Mrs Pounder added: "She spoke to us at the time, offered her condolences and said if there was anything at all she could do to get in touch.

"We emailed and texted each other regularly and her death has come as a real shock.

"I think the Government is partly responsible for her death because it had a duty to protect her and it didn't.

"My feelings are that she fought and fought for Sarah and other prisoners but I think she got to the lowest of the low.

"The Government has not listened and I think Pauline has died of a broken heart."

Mrs Pounder expects to attend Mrs Campbell's funeral, to be held near her home in Whitchurch, Shrop-shire, next week.

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