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'I got verdict and justice for my son," says mum
THE mother of a teenager found hanged in a prison cell has welcomed a verdict of misadventure following an inquest into his death.
Stephen Power, aged 18, of Henley Court, Runcorn, was discovered by guards at HMP Forest Bank shortly before midnight on Sunday, January 17, 2010.
He had been transferred from Altcourse prison 10 days earlier, where he had been on suicide watch, after taking an overdose.
He was on remand facing a double attempted murder charge after allegedly stabbing two women on the Runcorn Widnes bridge on December 1, 2009.
His mum, Colette Whittingham, aged 41, said she is relieved with the verdict and now plans to take legal action against the prison where her son died.
Bolton coroner Jennifer Leeming and a jury of six men and five women listened to more than 60 witnesses give evidence during a three week inquest at Bolton Coroners Court.
Mrs Whittingham said: “I am happy with this verdict, I couldn’t ask for anything better. It’s justice in my eyes.
“The jury found that he didn’t intend to to take his own life.”
She has been battling ill health and has lost two other close relatives this year.
Her dad, Robert James died from cancer and is now buried with her son, and her baby grandson, Mason, was stillborn on June 25, 2011.
Mrs Whittingham said: “We have had a lot of heartbreak.
“Stephen was the most loving lad I could ever get. I was the closest person in his life.
“He was very friendly and everyone loved him.
“He was never sentenced.
“He had signed up for the army. He was called ‘Runcorn true soldier’ by all his mates.
“I got the verdict and justice for my son.”