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Inquest into death of 18-year-old Mara Nunes killed in collision on A258 at Walmer due to last two days

By Eleanor Perkins

The mental state of a teenager, who died after being discharged from hospital after a suicide attempt, has been discussed at an inquest into her death.

18-year-old Mara Nunes from Walmer died on the A258 between Ringwould and Walmer on Saturday, January 10, 2015, after being hit by a silver Vauxhall Astra.

The inquiry at Sandwich Guildhall began today (Monday) with evidence from mental health experts.

Mara Nunes

It follows a pre-inquest review held at Canterbury Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday, April 6.

Psychiatric Nurse Sarah Joslin saw Mara earlier on the day she died at the Kent and Canterbury Hospital on January 10, 2015, and said at first the 18 year old didn 't respond to her.

She said: "She was tearful.She told me about a previous overdose in July. Although she had been living in Guernsey with her mum. She looked on Kent as home.

"She was depressed because she had got at job at McDonalds but the evening shifts meant she couldn't get there by public transport.

"She spoke about being isolated but she said she no longer had suicidal thoughts,"

Mara told her she loved her new flat in Deal although she was worried about utility bills.

She said:"She wanted a job-any job or to go to college in September."

Miss Joslin described Mara as alert and orientated. She gave lucid answers although she was fed up. Clinically she didn't need hospital treatment but I did refer her to the crisis team."

Psychologist James Murray from Guernsey, also giving evidence, said she wasn't mentally ill but she did suffer from depression.

She had been admitted to a mental hospital in Maidenhead in the summer of 2014. She was prescribed antidepressants and described herself as Lonely.

Coroner Alan Blunsdon heard at the pre-inquest review on Wednesday, April 6, how she suffered from mental health issues and had been under Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) in Dover before she turned 18.

Text messages between her and her support worker at the Next Step Agency, Kylie Brown, as well as Facebook posts and diary entries collected in a police search of her Walmer flat revealed her state of mind.

Floral tributes left for Mara Nunes. Picture: Gary Browne

Ms Learmond explained that a one-off assessment had resulted in Mara being taken on by the crisis team.

The former Sandwich Technology School pupil was originally from Guernsey in the Channel Islands and her family live overseas.

Guernsey Social Services, represented by Claire Hennessy, was still responsible for her foster care when she came to England.

The teen, who was described by friends in tributes as “one of a kind”, had been living with foster carer Christine Mountain in Pike Road, Tilmanstone, for the past five years before she moved to France and Mara moved to Walmer.

Guernsey Social Services has launched a serious case review overseen by the Island Child Protection Committee.

Ms Hennessy said: “Guernsey Social Services is very willing to engage and wants to learn lessons and find out if there were any difficulties here.”

A flower box marks the spot where she was killed on the A258 and a memorial bench was also placed at Pines Gardens in St Margaret’s.

If you would like confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans on 08457 116 123 at any time.

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