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Panel claim for bridge plunge girl

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A girl who fell more than 100ft to her death should have been brought before the children's panel after she took an overdose, an inquiry has heard.

Niamh Lafferty, 15, and Georgia Rowe, 14, died in an apparent suicide pact after falling from the Erskine Bridge on October 4, 2009.

They were both residents at the Good Shepherd Centre in Bishopton, Renfrewshire.

An inquiry at Paisley Sheriff Court heard Niamh was moved back to the centre in July 2009 after spending 25 days at the East King Street care home in her home town of Helensburgh.

Her return to the Good Shepherd Centre was classed as an "emergency", after Niamh overdosed on pills and reportedly said she wanted to be with her boyfriend Jonny, who had died earlier in the year.

Joy Daniels, who works for Argyll and Bute Council as the area children's manager for Helensburgh and Lomond, said there should have been a meeting of the children's panel after Niamh was taken back to the Good Shepherd open unit.

But she told the hearing this was not her direct responsibility and she hadn't checked it had happened.

Ms Daniels said she had not found out it did not happen until after Niamh died.

Adah Lambie, a senior social worker, had been in charge of Niamh's case as her designated social worker, Deborah Wicks, was off sick.

Ms Daniels said: "There should have been another panel called in terms of the transfer. The social worker should have informed the reporter and then made sure that a meeting happened.

"It is common practice for the social worker to take care of it."

Ms Daniels said she was in regular contact with Ms Lambie about Niamh, as feedback would be given fortnightly, except in the case of a "significant incident". John Watt, for the Crown, asked Ms Daniels: "Did you never say, when's the panel?"

She said: "No."

The hearing continues.

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