Amber Peat’s family refused to pick her up from school after she went missing because their dog was giving birth

Amber Peat
Amber Peat

The inquest into the tragic death of Mansfield teenager Amber Peat heard how Amber ran away from her family on several occasions.

David Wallace a teacher at Tibshelf Comunity School told the inquest at Nottingham coroner’s Court this afternoon he had received a phone call from a letting officer that Amber had turned up at the school at 9pm after running away from home on April 3 2014.

He said it had been a cold windy and rainy evening

Amber told him she had run away from home at around 5pm after an argument with her mum and a sibling.

He said: “She did not go into details, but she had walked to the old school site about half a mile from her home and walked around the bridleway.

“I explained i had to contact her parents and she became sullen and quiet with her head down.

“She said they wouldn’t care and they were more interested in the dog which was in the process of giving birth..

“She said she had run away from her parents before and they wouldn’t be bothered.

“I was concerned how a child her age could away in the pouring rain for four hours.”

He had contacted Amber’s parents mum Kelly and stepfather Danny Peat to come and pick her up but Danny said it wasn’t possible as the dog was ‘in labour’.

Mr Wallace drove Amber home and said her parents did not show any emotion or relief at her return.

Mr Wallace had become concerned ad contacted his head teacher and Peter Kenworthy, now head at Tibshelf community school to see what could be done.

They had spoken to Sorel Swallow , youth support worker at a meeting with the school’s multi agency team who said there were other concerns about Amber including her family not reporting incidents when she had run away, her behaviour at school and fears that the family may soonn be moving from the area.

Amber had told her when she misbehaved at home she was made to wash up “every pot in the cupboard.”

It had been decided to set up a Common Assessment Framework (CAF) for Amber to gather information to find a way of bringing a case forward for the family.

After meeting Amber with her parents Mr Wallace said:”I had a gut feeling about the whole thing. It seemed false and coached particularly by her dad. Amber would try and not make eye contact, there was something wrong with the family dynamics.”

The CAF never happened as news came back that the Peat family were going to relocate to the Mansfield area.

Head teacher at Tibshelf Community School Peter Kenworthy said Amber had a habit of disappearing from lessons to be found somwhere in the school reading her favourite books.”

He said: “She was progressing really well. She loved English, the problem was getting her into lessons. she was quite bright academically.

“our Multi Agency Team met to discuss Amber . We thought her issues were more emotional about self esteem than mental, so we thought a social care referal was not necessary.”

He added: “Looking back, not pushing the CAF more than we did was one of the mistakes I made.”

A serious case review after Amber’s death called for greater communication between agencies.

Ambers GP had already referred the family to a multi-agency team because of concerns including Mr Peat’s mental health.

Family resource worker Sarah Hart earlier told the inquest she had referred Amber to a youth worker.

The inquest continues.