A CORONER has called on a shopping centre to consider its rooftop car park safety following the death of a teenager.
Lauren Johnson, 17, is believed to have committed suicide when she fell between 80ft and 100ft from the Accrington Arndale, in Union Street.
Michael Singleton, coroner for Blackburn, Hyndburn and the Ribble Valley, said although Lauren, from Oswald-twistle, had tried suicide several times before, barriers on the car park might have prevented her from falling to her death.
He said: “I am aware that there have been a number of similar fatalities from that building over the last few years and in fact, on the last occasion, I had issued a report pointing out to Arndale Centre Holdings the fact of the deaths and inviting them to consider whether they should take steps to in any way possible prevent further occurrences.
“Clearly, I understand that a person who is determined to bring about their own demise will find a way of achieving that, but suicide needs two things. It needs intent and opportunity.
“What we need to be doing as a society is to reduce the opportunities, which is why I want the Arndale to consider whether they should put some railings in.
“I am not naive to think somebody is not capable of climbing over, but somebody whose intent wavers may have the opportunity for the intent to disappear whilst they contemplate how they are going to overcome hurdles.”
The coroner adjourned the hearing for a full inquest into Lauren’s death, which will take place in November or December at Oswald-twistle Town Hall.