By Lucy Carter
A 15-year-old girl in New South Wales state care was “used and abused by predatory adults” who involved her in “criminal activities, drug use and probably prostitution”, a coronial inquest into her death has heard.
The coronial inquest in Sydney, before Deputy State Coroner Derek Lee, is investigating the death of a teenage girl, identified only as MK.
She died in The Children’s Hospital at Westmead in April 2014 from the effects of multiple drug toxicity, after overdosing on a combination of cannabis, ice and heroin.
In her opening address counsel assisting Donna Ward outlined MK’s “sad childhood history”.
“In an ideal world, children are protected and nurtured within the family and home is a place of security and stability,” Ms Ward said.
“But that wasn’t the case for MK and her younger twin brothers.”
Child protection concerns about MK were first raised just months after she was born, and she and her brothers were removed from their parents when she was 12 months old and they were one month old.
Girl could ‘light up a room’
MK was allegedly raped by two male carers at a youth refuge in Sydney when she was 14, and she died weeks before she was due to testify against one of them.
Family and Community Services Minister Brad Hazzard last week said he was extremely concerned that a youth worker had not faced court over allegations he repeatedly raped the teenager.
The inquest also heard from a youth worker who cried as he said the girl could “light up a room” when she was happy.