THE Burnley mum of the youngest person to die in custody in Britain is still facing an agonising wait for answers two years on.

Adam Rickwood, of Harold Street, committed suicide in Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in Durham in August 2004 aged just 14.

But his mum Carol Pounder said she was still no closer to knowing why her son died - and may not find out for at least another year.

Today she called for a public inquiry into the deaths of youngsters in custody - two teenagers have died in custody since Adam's death.

An inquest date has not been set and Mrs Pounder said she has been told it could be a year away. And a Youth Justice Board report to try to prevent further deaths of young people in custody cannot be completed until the coroner hears the case.

Mrs Pounder said: "I'm no wiser today than I was the day Adam died.

"I had a knock on the door to say he was dead and that was it. It's disgusting. It will be three years after Adam's death before we get the chance to get to the truth.

"It's absolutely horrible waiting. I haven't even got a proper death certificate.

"It's just impossible to move on without the answers we need about why Adam killed himself.

"The authorities say they will learn lessons, but 29 boys have died in custody since 1990 - lessons should have been learned already."

In January 2005, 16-year-old Gareth Price also died in custody at Lancaster Farms young offenders' institution. And In September last year, 17-year-old Sam Elphick lost his life at HMP Hindley.

Adam was found hanged in his cell while on remand for one month after allegedly breaching bail while accused of a wounding offence. The charge was later dropped.

A spokeswoman for Durham coroner Andrew Tweddle confirmed no date for the inquest had been set as investigations were continuing.

And the Youth Justice Board said it was still trying to co-ordinate the various investigations following Adam's death.

A spokesman said: "Our report will feed into the local area child protection review but unfortunately we cannot finalise our serious incident review until an inquest has taken place."

Mrs Pounder has been backed in her fight for answers by pressure group Inquest, which last year published a book detailing child deaths in custody and calls for an independent standing commission on custodial deaths and an end to locking up children.

Co-director Deborah Coles said: "Deaths of children in the custody of the state are a serious human rights issue."

The Children's Rights Alliance for England, a collection of 380 groups campaigning for improved children's rights, is also lobbying the government.