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Abused Dana, 16, 'was failed by authorities' RULING OVER SUICIDE SCHOOLGIRL.

A SCHOOLGIRL found hanged after being abused by her paedophile karate teacher was failed by the authorities, a coroner has ruled.

Geraint Williams said more should have be done to protect Dana Baker, from Kidderminster, who had repeatedly tried to take her own life after being groomed by Jaspal Riat.

The senior coroner said Worcestershire County Council's failure to intervene had contributed to the 16-year-old's death in March 2011.

Riat, 51, formerly of Denewood Avenue, Handsworth, was jailed for eight years in September of that year for sexually abusing Dana.

The inquest heard Dana took an overdose in May 2009 after revealing she was in a relationship with the Birmingham karate teacher. She made another serious self-harm attempt five months later, according to her teachers at Wolverley Secondary School, in Wolverley, near Kidderminster. Deputy head Vicki Blake told the inquest Dana shouted out that she was having a relationship with her karate teacher in an English lesson two years before her death.

Mrs Blake told the hearing that she had no response from social services or police for several days after reporting her concerns on April 27, 2009.

The inquest heard that Dana had also shown self-harm marks to her head of house, Samantha Cobley.

Dana later moved to Bishop Perowne School, in Worcester, but the inquest heard staff quickly developed serious concerns for her safety.

Special needs co-ordinator Trisha Eames said the teenager made a "serious self harm attempt" in October 2009. "It was clear to us that Dana was at risk of doing herself some serious harm," she said.

Gail Quinton, head of Worcestershire County Council's Children's Services, said after the inquest: "We have acted swiftly on areas identified for improvement and all actions in the Serious Case Review have been undertaken.

"We have increased the number of social workers so that we have sufficient staff with the right skills and experience. Appropriate support and training is now in place for teenagers' mental health as well as revised risk assessments. Our thoughts are with everyone who knew Dana including the professionals that cared for her."

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Dana Baker |repeatedly tried to take her own life after being groomed by karate teacher Jaspal Riat, left
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Publication:Birmingham Mail (England)
Date:May 30, 2014
Words:367
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