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Darwen teenager died after putting plastic bag over head at care home
A TEENAGE boy died accidentally after putting a plastic bag over his head at a Darwen care home, an inquest has ruled.
Thirteen-year-old Mohammed Alam Naseem, known as Alam, was living at Woodside Care home when he died, Blackburn Coroners’ Court was told.
On the evening of Sunday, February 12, Alam had said goodnight to staff and residents and gone to his room at the Tockholes Road home.
The following morning he was found dead, lying on his bed, with a plastic food bag over his face, the hearing was told.
He was found by key worker Nick Hayton who broke down in tears while giving evidence at the inquest.
Clayton White, another care worker, said he had given the teenager the plastic bag just days before to put sweets in.
Alam, described by care home owner Alison Gregg as an ‘adorable young man’, had been happy in the days leading up to his death, laughing and joking with other residents, the inquest heard.
In a statement she said: “He was like a little brother to all of us. We took him into our hearts and he will remain there forever.” Alam, born in Burnley, was fostered at the age of two and moved to Woodside in 2009, aged 10.
He had regular contact with his foster family and regularly told staff he was happy at Woodside, the inquest heard.
The Haslingden High School student attended the army cadets at Blackburn and planned to join the Army after college.
A team of 10 detectives investigated his death. DI Claire Holbrook said she did not believe he was being bullied.
Speaking after the inquest she said: “The evidence points to the fact that Alam was a very happy young child in the months leading up to his death.
“There’s nothing to suggest that he intended to cause himself harm.”
The coroner said he was satisfied that there was no third party involvement, and no note was found to suggest Alam had intended to take his own life.
Blackburn coroner, Michael Singleton, said: “Alam went into his room and placed a plastic bag over his own head and as a consequence of that he died.
“In these circumstances, it was appropriate for there to be a very detailed investigation.
“I am not satisfied that Alam had intended to cause himself harm.
“To place a bag over one’s head is foolish and dangerous. Little boys do foolish and dangerous things.
“That is the essence of being a little boy and it seems to me that it was nothing more sinister than that.”