A 17-YEAR-OLD with a history of self-harming was found dead in her bedroom while she was living at a private care facility, an inquest has heard.

Ellie Jaye Sumner, who was found dead at Buckshaw House in Buckshaw Village, had an established diagnosis of autistic spectrum disorder and had received care both at home and and in various placements before her death.

An inquest at Preston Coroners Court also heard how she had a history of major depression disorder, dyspraxia, ADHD and unstable personality disorder.

On November 30, 2017, she was found locked in her room with a ligature around her neck having not been seen or spoken to by staff for some time. It was also heard how she had ligatured up to eight times prior to her death.

Detective Inspector Warren Atkinson, who attended the scene, said: “On the morning of her death she came downstairs at around 8.40am and spoke to a member of staff. They spoke about an argument Ellie had the night before - she was upset about that, but conversation between the two of them was calm. She then said she was going for a bath.

“CCTV footage shows her returning from the bathroom to her bedroom at around 10.14am.

A short while later a member of staff became concerned when they could not get a response at Miss Sumner’s bedroom door. At 11.16 staff forced entry into the room where she was found inside.

It was later heard how Ms Sumner, who became easily upset by unplanned visits, had been disturbed while she was in the bath.

This is thought to have unsettled her as she was not expecting the visit.

A statement given by a child physiologist also outlined the fact she had recently come off her medication.

Concluding the inquest, Coroner Richard Taylor recorded that Ellie had died at Buckshaw House.

He said: “She was found in her locked room with a ligature around her neck having not been seen or spoken to by staff for some time. There is insufficient evidence as to her intentions at the time of her death.”

A statement by Ellie’s family said: “Ellie was one of the most kind hearted, genuine, funny and loving people you could ever meet. She will be sadly missed by us all.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation said: “Our sincere condolences go to Ellie’s family and friends, our thoughts are with them during what continues to be a difficult time for them.

“Ellie was under the care of Buckshaw House at the time of her death which is run by a private provider. However, as she had a history of contact with the Trust’s services during her life we undertook a full investigation into the circumstances leading up to her death to fully understand and ascertain if anything could have been done differently.

“As such, we are now making improvements to how we support people that have been discharged back into the community or into placements, particularly young people and those with vulnerabilities due to a learning disability or autistic spectrum disorder.”