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Published on February 12th, 2010 | by admin


TV documentary on Burnley ‘suicide’ teen Adam Rickwood

Published on Friday 12 February 2010 14:22

A HARD-HITTING documentary detailing the death in custody of Burnley teenager Adam Rickwood hopes to shed new light on his alleged suicide.

News of the yet-to-be released social drama entitled “Adam Rickwood and The Medomsley Heroes” comes as Adam’s mum, Carol Pounder, visited the High Court to demand a new coroner for a second inquest into her son’s death.

Adam became the youngest person to die in British penal custody at the age of 14 when he was found hanged at the Hassockfield Secure Training Centre in County Durham, in 2004.

In May, 2007, a month-long inquest found Adam had deliberately taken his own life. But Mrs Pounder took the matter to the High Court and Lord Justice Blake ruled Adam had been unlawfully restrained, which has led to a second inquest.

Now Mrs Pounder believes Durham Coroner Andrew Tweddle, who conducted the first inquest, should not preside over the second inquest as he refused to rule on the legality of physical restraint methods used on Adam first time around. The family is now awaiting the judge’s decision.

It will only be after this second inquest, for which a date has yet to be set, that award-winning Cockney film-maker Bill Maloney will release his documentary and he is promising an emotional warts-and-all view on how youths are cared for in this type of facility.

“The idea for it came when I was approached by somebody who has been a victim of abuse at Medomsley, which is what Hassockfield Secure Training Centre used to be called,” said Mr Maloney, who has seen his maverick approach to filming receive awards in London, Ireland and New York.

“He was with a group called and wanted me to make a film about the abuse he and 11 others suffered. After listening to their story I just couldn’t refuse.

“I didn’t even know about Adam until one of the victim’s told me about his story. I then approached Carol as I feel Adam’s story brings the documentary up to date.”

By the time Mr Maloney was 20, he had spent 14 years in different institutions brought about by the brutality of his mother and his father’s alcoholism, an insight which as a director has helped him put the audience directly into this film.

He prides himself on “telling it like it is” and even rejected a 1.4m. budget for his film “Lunatic” as the company would not give him full artistic freedom. After making “Lunatic” for just 40,000, it went on to win Best International Feature at the New York International Independent Film and Video Festival.

Mr Maloney said: “‘Adam Rickwood and The Medomsley Heroes’ is currently two hours and 50 minutes long, but I don’t want to edit it or sanitise it in any way. It really is heartbreaking to watch and that is the way it should remain.

“The time I spent with Carol and her family I saw a very loving, tight, loyal and passionate unit of people. I speak to Carol often and would without doubt say she always has an ally in me.”

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One Response to TV documentary on Burnley ‘suicide’ teen Adam Rickwood

  1. adam reid says:


    Do you know where I can get a copy of ‘Lunatic’?
    Keep up the good work Bill and Lilley! :-}


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