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A GRIEF-STRICKEN father has told of his devastation following the death of his 'vulnerable' son who was found hanged on his 18th birthday.

Burton Mail - Jamie Clark


Derek Clark, of Salisbury Avenue, Winshill, opened his heart six weeks after the body of Jamie Clark, a 'caring, intelligent and extrovert' character whose life was scarred by behavioural problems, was found dead in his YMCA flat near Burton Town Hall.

Mr Clark, 55, said he was frustrated with the police's reluctance to explain the mysterious circumstances surrounding his son's death, and prosecutors' decision not to pursue a manslaughter charge against a former suspect.

He claims that Jamie would still be alive today had the agencies involved in his care, which had extended offers of help since his death, done more to meet his needs during his lifetime.

Mr Clark said: "I'm devastated. I just want the door to open and I want Jamie to come back. I miss him. He was not only my son, he was my friend. I could talk to him and he could talk to me. I loved him.

"A couple of times I've thought 'I just want to join Jamie', but I've got my daughter to consider and I'm not that silly."
Jamie, the son of Mr Clark and his now estranged wife, Tracy, 45, was born deaf, a condition which triggered aggression and frustration and ensured he would never attend a mainstream school.
Jamie was later diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, attention deficit disorder and oppositional defiant disorder - conditions which led to his treatment with the controversial medication Ritalin.


Unable to remain with his parents or at special schools because of his 'challenging' behaviour, Jamie was sectioned 'voluntarily' at 14 after going on the rampage at home.

However, children's homes and even a secure unit were unable to support him, and he moved into a flat in Rugeley before being forced to move into his father's home after it was broken into and trashed. He then moved to the YMCA complex.

Little more than a week after moving in, and only six weeks before he was due to start a management course at Burton College, Jamie was found dead.

Mr Clark, who has never been allowed to visit the scene of his son's death, claims police have refused to clarify the circumstances surrounding his son's apparently 'unsuspicious' death.

He said: "They won't tell me anything. I'm really peeved because I'm not getting what I want. I want answers to my questions and it's very, very hard.

"I'm tired and not sleeping. I've got medical problems - diabetes, heart problems and high blood pressure - and just want to get things sorted."

Mr Clark, who has yet to receive a date for the inquest into Jamie's death, is planning to take legal advice in a bid to overturn the Crown Prosecution Service's decision not to pursue a manslaughter charge connected to the case.

The funeral will be held at 12.45pm on Friday at St Mark's Church, in Winshill, followed by cremation at Bretby Crematorium.


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