Our three teen daughters killed themselves within months while under care of an NHS hospital – we want justice | The Sun

THREE families who should have been celebrating their daughters’ 21st birthdays this year are instead grieving as more details of their tragic deaths have been laid bare.

Teenagers Christie Harnett, Nadia Sharif and Emily Moore all died within eight months of one another after killing themselves while under the care of the NHS. 

The schoolgirls didn’t know each other before they were admitted to West Lane Hospital in Middlesbrough, and became pals behind closed doors.

The trio have now become connected through their devastating deaths. 

Their heartbroken fathers have now opened up in light of a recent report into the Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust – and called for justice. 

The report found the trust’s West Lane Hospital was “chaotic and unsafe” and there was a "consistent failure to put the young people at the heart of care".

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And while the hospital is now closed and re-opened under a new name, the teens’ families want those who were there and in control at the time to be held accountable. 

The dads say nothing will bring their girls back, but they don’t want their deaths to be in vain – nor do they want another family to experience the heartache they have. 

Between Christie and Nadia, who were 17 when they died, and Emily, 18, the girls spent hundreds of days in West Lane Hospital.

Dozens of pages of medical notes revealing grim details into their final days have been published, and countless tears have been shed by their loved ones.

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They've read the girls' journals from their darkest days – which also broke down the horror that unfolded behind closed doors.  

Their families all struggle to put into words what it would mean to have them here today – celebrating their 21sts, travelling, fufilling their dreams, and settling down. 

But instead, they’re still fighting for justice for their deaths more than three years on. 

And they say it’s not over – they want to see hospital leaders and staff held to account, with the fate of future mental healthcare put under the spotlight at a public inquiry. 

Christie was the first of the teens to kill herself – using something that had already been identified as a risk. 

Her dad Michael explains the day he got that horror call in June 2019 as a “blur”. 

He told The Sun Online: “We knew it was bad, but obviously we just didn’t know.

“It was something that shouldn’t have happened.

“You’re in a place like that – that’s meant to be safe.”  


Four days later Michael’s “always happy, always smiling” girl was dead. 

Christie had been under the watch of Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS) for most of her life. 

As she reached her teen years, Christie was diagnosed with anorexia and was eventually admitted to West Lane.

During that time she was restrained, stripped and dressed in “strong clothing”. 

Her dad said they often laid complaints and were regularly attending meetings regarding her care. 

It was hard for her loved ones, Michael explained: “She was always happy. She would help anybody.

“Her smile, it was infectious.” 

Tragically, Christie’s smile is just a memory for family.

He said: “All of the girls would have had 21sts. They should still be here.

“From the beginning, we started the fight for it never to happen again. 


“Emily, Nadia, Christie, everyone that’s died and everyone that’s still in their care.” 

“We’ve had the worst happen.” 

Michael added: “Nothing is ever going to bring Christie back. There needs to be a public inquiry."

Emily Moore’s father David mirrored Michael. 

He told The Sun: “As a family we just want kids to be safe in these establishments.

“We want some justice for our daughter. We promised we would fight for justice.”

David said he and other loved ones had no idea their “bright, funny” Emily was struggling with her mental health until she was about 15. 

He recalled: “A friend knocked at the door after she text and said she needed help.

“She’d taken an overdose.”

Emily was referred to CAMHS, and had weekly hour-long meetings – until 2018 when she was referred to West Lane. 

David said: “Just that she didn’t want to be there – I suppose all kids say that.”

When Emily was in West Lane staff would shout and swear at her when she self-harmed. 

There were multiple occasions David complained, and protested outside the hospital for his daughter. 

At the time Emily was journaling the horrible things staff apparently said to her while she was at her lowest, including: "Stop it, you're upsetting other patients."

But then she turned 18 – and was no longer classed as a child, so had to leave. 

The only option was for her to go back under the care of the trust. and Emily was shifted into Lancaster Road Hospital. 

Within seven days, in February 2020, the freshly 18-year-old was dead. 

David tragically recalled: “I got a call at about quarter to four saying ‘can you get yourself to the hospital?’

“We were expecting something bad. I had a feeling it was going to be really bad. But we didn’t expect it to be final.” 


Hakeel Sharif also recalls the day he and his wife picture up the phone with the horror news about daughter Nadia. 

He told The Sun they said: “You need to get to the hospital.

“We were all there together.” 

Nadia died in August 2019 – just weeks after Christie, and months before Emily. 

Hakeel said his daughter started to struggle when she went to the “big schools” – her behaviours switched. 

She was later diagnosed with a form of autism.

Hakeel said: “We were asking for help a long time ago.”

But, he said Nadia went downhill once she went into care at West Lane, adding: “There was never any harming in the house – just all cuts and bruises in the hospital."

Nadia died by seriously injuring herself. 

The report into Nadia’s death – which was released the same day as Christie and Emily – in November last year revealed she had been dragged down a corridor backwards by staff. 


It was one of many serious incidents reported – but her dad couldn’t bring himself to read about them.

However, Hakeel said he knows one thing: “Things need to change – nothing’s changed – it’s got to change.

“She should be here.” 

A spokesperson for Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, told The Sun Online: "We would like to reiterate how deeply sorry we are for the events that contributed to the deaths of Christie, Nadia and Emily. 

“The reports cover a period of time where it was abundantly clear there were shortfalls in both care and leadership. Over the last three years, how we care for people, how we involve patients, families and carers, and our leadership and governance structure have changed significantly.

“We will continue to work hard to make sure we deliver safe and kind care to the people we support, as they have every right to expect.

“We don’t underestimate the impact the reports will have had on all those reading them, and we are deeply sorry. Those things simply shouldn’t have happened.”

You’re Not Alone

EVERY 90 minutes in the UK a life is lost to suicide.

It doesn't discriminate, touching the lives of people in every corner of society – from the homeless and unemployed to builders and doctors, reality stars and footballers.

It's the biggest killer of people under the age of 35, more deadly than cancer and car crashes.

And men are three times more likely to take their own life than women.

Yet it's rarely spoken of, a taboo that threatens to continue its deadly rampage unless we all stop and take notice, now.

That is why The Sun launched the You're Not Alone campaign.

The aim is that by sharing practical advice, raising awareness and breaking down the barriers people face when talking about their mental health, we can all do our bit to help save lives.

Let's all vow to ask for help when we need it, and listen out for others… You're Not Alone.

If you, or anyone you know, needs help dealing with mental health problems, the following organisations provide support:

  • CALM, www.thecalmzone.net, 0800 585 858
  • Heads Together, www.headstogether.org.uk
  • Mind, www.mind.org.uk, 0300 123 3393
  • Papyrus, www.papyrus-uk.org, 0800 068 41 41
  • Samaritans, www.samaritans.org, 116 123
  • Movember, www.uk.movember.com
  • Anxiety UK www.anxietyuk.org.uk, 03444 775 774 Monday-Friday 9.30am-10pm, Saturday/Sunday 10am-8pm

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