Damian Clough

Damian CloughName: Damian Clough
Died: April 4, 2009
Age at death: 12
Cause of death: Smoke inhalation; arson
Location: Keighley, West Yorkshire, UK

Details:
Damian's bedroom was entirely bare because he tended to shred mattresses and wallpaper, so he was made to sleep with only a blanket in a room with no furniture or carpets. The door was missing the internal handle and could not be opened from the inside.

Two years previously, the family had received a £9,000 grant to turn their home into an "accident-free zone" for Damian, and had applied for another to convert their bathroom into a wet room.

Damian's mother left him in this room while she went to her job as a part-time barmaid, expecting Damian's sister to come home soon. While Damian's mother was gone, several friends of his sister's entered the house, drinking and smoking, and that night, someone deliberately set fire to the house.

Damian died of smoke inhalation before firefighters could get to him. The family dog was discovered dead on the floor outside his bedroom door.

The fire was the result of arson, but because it could not be proven that the teenagers in the house that night had set the fire, they were cleared of all charges.

Damian's family is saddened by the lack of a conviction. Damian's father commented, “Whoever did it has taken a beautiful human being from this planet. Damian was full of happiness and joy and he was taken away from us in such a malicious and callous way.”

References:
Tragedy as Damian, 12, dies in house fire
Autistic boy, 12, died after two teenagers 'deliberately torched house while his mother was at work'
Teenagers accused of killing autistic boy, 12, in house fire
Firefighters give evidence to manslaughter trial
Accused cleared of Damian death
Second teenager cleared over disabled boy's death in blaze
Damian Clough case to be investigated by independent social care expert
Serious case review condemns level of care given to Keighley youngster Damian Clough
Who did kill my beautiful Damian?

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