A social worker who had visited the home of the Mansfield teenager who took her own life said she felt there was 'no immediate risk' to her life - despite the young girl repeatedly running away from home.
Amber Peat, 13, was found hanged in a hedgerow in 2015 and an inquest into her tragic death examined the precautions taken by agencies to protect her.
The hearing was told Amber had run away three or four times, first in January 2014, before the visit by the family resource worker, Sarah Hart. The incidents had not been reported to the police.
Amber Peat (pictured above) hanged herself after fleeing home after a row with her stepfather
Family resource worker Sarah Hart gave evidence to Nottingham coroner's court. As part of a multi-agency team she had been sent after police reported her missing.
Mrs Hart admitted there was no written action plan on what to do if Amber went missing again. She made the visit because a missing person referral had to be conducted within 72 hours.
She said: 'Amber was well, there was no immediate risk and there was no need to go into full details. That would come later.'
Before the final time Amber went missing, Mrs Hart had been to the house to discuss her disappearance with her and her family.
She said: 'I discussed with Amber the issues about not putting herself at risk and the worry she had caused. To find out why she had absconded would have been for a future visit. My priority was to build up trust with her.'
Daniel Peat (right) Amber's stepfather, left Nottingham Coroner's Court today after saying he had comforted Amber during a school meeting
Mrs Hart said she asked Amber why she ran away while her mother Kelly present.
She said: 'She didn't answer, her mother did. I asked if I could speak to Amber alone upstairs and she said "I don't like putting children under too much pressure."'
The family's GP referred them over conflict in the home and also for Daniel Peat, Amber's stepfather, and his mental health issues.
But Mrs Hart said she had not asked the family to consent for her to share information with other agencies. She said: 'If a mental health worker had concerns they would have referred that in.'
The inquest at Nottingham Coroner's Court has previously been told Amber's mother and stepfather didn't report her missing for almost eight hours, and heard claims from teachers that she 'didn't get as much attention at home as would be considered normal'.
Yesterday, Joanne Robinson, a multi-agency team (MAT) manager at Derbyshire County Council also gave evidence, saying that Amber had been referred to have one-on-one meetings between with a youth worker.
The inquest heard that shortly after the sessions ended, in around April 2014, Amber ran away from home following an argument and eventually ended up at her school, Tibshelf Secondary, at 9pm at night. Her Head of Year, David Wallace, was contacted by a caretaker and called Amber's family – but they couldn't come to fetch her 'because their dog was in labour'.
Mr Wallace caught up with Amber at school the next day, it was said, with the youngster claiming her parents had 'grilled' her over what she had told him. But they couldn't come in to discuss the matter with staff because they had 'been awake all night with the dog'.
Shortly afterwards, the MAT team received a ‘case note’ from the school regarding a number of concerns about Amber.
Amber's mother Kelly Peat (pictured above)
The inquest heard these included a fear she would ‘slip through the net’ when the family moved house, the fact they had ‘stopped calling the police’ when she ran away, and the failure to collect her when she turned up at school at night.
It also referred to an occasion when she was ‘made to wash every pot in the house’ – and said Amber had claimed she ‘couldn’t celebrate her birthday this year because of her behaviour’.
Today contrasting images of Amber were revealed at an inquest into the 13-year-old's death.
School support manager Emma Dunn described her as 'pleasant, bubbly and enthusiastic girl, a lively character,' although she 'struggled to concentrate.'
She compared that with Amber's behaviour when called into a meeting with her mother Kelly and stepfather Daniel Peat.
In a statement read at the hearing, Miss Dunn said that it 'left her with an uneasy feeling.' At the inquest at Nottingham Council House, Miss Dunn said that Amber was 'quiet and withdrawn.'
She said: 'Amber was very different with how she presented.'
Amber's stepfather Daniel Peat told the hearing that he comforted Amber during the meeting in school.
'I put my arms around her, saying that it's going to be all right,' said Mr Peat.
He told the inquest that a mentor was identified for Amber to 'contact one to one.'
The school meeting took place a year before Amber was found hanged in bushes on June 2, 2015. She walked out of her home three days before.
Today's sitting revealed:
- Amber had previously ran away but her parents had been too busy to look for her as their 'dog was in labour'
- Amber had seen