The Priory Group have pleaded guilty to health and safety charges following the death of 14 year old Amy El-Keria. On 12 November 2012, Amy was found unresponsive with a ligature in her locked hospital room at Ticehurst House, run by the Priory, and died the following day. 

This is understood to be the first prosecution of its kind and is a historic moment in terms of accountability following deaths of children in private mental health settings.

The judge has now committed the case to the Crown Court with the next hearing to take place in April. 

Tanya El-Keria, mother of Amy, gave a powerful interview to Channel 5 News.

"She had the warmest heart, and great sense of humour

Amy's mental health care should never have been put in the hands of a company whose priority was placing profits over her safety.

This guilty plea is a bitter but a long awaited acknowledgement from the Priory of their criminal failure"

Victoria McNally, INQUEST caseworker, was quoted in the Guardian, the Times and the Telegraph “This family have been completely failed by a system that placed Amy in the care of a private company now exposed as operating criminally inadequate standards”.

Further press coverage:

  • 'The Priory faces multimillion-pound fine after death of girl in its care', Guardian, Caroline Davies.
  • 'Priory hospital group admits its role in death of Amy El-Keria', 14, The Times, Katie Gibbons.
  • Priory Group guilty over death of Amy El-Keria in its care, The Times, Katie Gibbons and George Greenwood.
  • The Priory faces multi-million pound fine following death of 14-year-old girl with a history of suicide attempts, The Telegraph, Reporters.