Inquest into death of Charlie Millers at Prestwich mental health hospital adjourned pending criminal investigation

30 January 2023

Ciara Bartlam

The inquest into the death of 17 year old Charlie Millers due to open today has been adjourned to December 2023 due to a Greater Manchester Police investigation into the circumstances around Charlie’s death at Junction 17.  

Charlie had been a mental health inpatient at Pegasus Ward, Prestwich Hospital in December 2020 when he died from self-inflicted injuries. The hospital is run by Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust (‘GMMH’). 

Charlie was one of three young people to die at the hospital in less than a year. 

Charlie was a transgender teenager who had experienced behavioural issues since primary school and mental ill health since the age of 11. He was diagnosed with ADHD and autism.  

On Friday 27 January, the court received information regarding Datix records and questions around whether the records had been accessed and edited since Charlie’s death.

Greater Manchester Police conducted a review of the initial investigation into Charlie’s death. Having reviewed various documents, they have concluded that a further investigation needs to be carried out.  

The focus of the police investigation will be the written documents and digital records and may lead to witnesses being interviewed under caution. In addition to the people who were there on the day of Charlie’s death, the police will also look at the role of more senior management on Junction 17.  

The inquest has been adjourned pending the police’s criminal investigation which is estimated to take up to six months to complete. The inquest has been provisionally relisted for three weeks from 4 December 2023.  

Sam Millers, Charlie’s mother, said

“We have waited over two years to get answers over Charlie’s death and yet still new and important evidence is being unearthed causing further delays to the process.  

“As Charlie’s mum is it very difficult to get to this stage and face the prospect of another long delay. Greater Manchester Police need to take this issue very seriously to ensure we get justice and accountability for Charlie, and that other young people are kept safe.” 

The family are represented by Ciara Bartlam of our inquest and inquiries team and INQUEST Lawyers Group members Kelly Darlington and Alice Wood of Farleys Solicitors. They are supported by INQUEST senior caseworker, Jodie Anderson.

Other Interested persons represented are the Greater Manchester Mental Health Trust (‘GMMH’) (who run Junction 17), Trafford Borough Council (Children’s Services), Northern Care Alliance NHS Group, NHS England, Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, Care Quality Commission, Pennine Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Related stories: 

  • Rowan Thompson, 18, died on 3 October 2020 whilst an inpatient at the Gardener Unit, a medium secure adolescent mental health unit in Prestwich Hospital. Rowan was non-binary. An inquest in December 2022 found that their death was contributed to by neglect due to the failure to communicate the findings of blood tests.

This article was adapted from INQUEST’s original press release.

Media coverage of this casde:

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