TICKER: Awful: Disabled boy, 18, allowed to fall to his death

A disabled boy fell to his death because care home workers were too afraid to restrain him over ‘health and safety’ fears.

James Dean Brotherhood, 18, had brain damage and was susceptible to blood clots following treatment for a brain tumour, which was removed when he was eight.

But despite his medical history and the evident danger, carers at a specialist unit stood by and watched as James pulled himself up onto a windowsill with his wheelchair still strapped to his back.

The teenager fell and hit his head – and within hours was dead. His family have now received a four-figure payout.

When asked by a coroner why he did not intervene in the moments before the tragedy, one of his carers wrongly stated the home had a ‘no restraint policy’ due to health and safety rules.

Following the out of court settlement, James’s mother Suzanne said: ‘If a toddler ran out into the road, would they have stood by and let them get run over by a car?

‘His carers said they didn’t want to move him or stop him because they were scared they might get hurt, but one of them was a 6ft bouncer – it was simply ridiculous.

‘After the accident, I was told that he had suffered a slight knock but in the inquest I discovered he had received a severe blow to the head.

‘There were three carers in the room at the time and they just stood next to him and watched him for several minutes before he fell.

‘They should have just grabbed him and stopped him from doing it, then my little boy would still be here.

A coroner recorded that James, seen here aged 7 drawing with sister Katie 11, died from bleeding on the brain after the fall

Mrs Brotherhood added: ‘If he had died from the cancer I might have been able to live with that, but knowing his death was preventable has made it impossible for me to move on.’

After his death, bosses at the Aarons Specialist Unit, in Loughborough, sent his family a £12 cheque for James’s funeral flowers after the inquest in May.

Now, the home’s owners Rushcliffe Care have agreed to pay Mrs Brotherhood and her ex-husband Dean, 46, an undisclosed sum, although they continue to deny any responsibility for James’s untimely death.

James was diagnosed with medullablastoma – a tumour on his brain stem – at the age of eight.

He underwent surgery and two years of radiotherapy and chemotherapy to treat the tumour.

James was left with balance issues and over time his behaviour changed and he would keep his family awake at night, getting out of bed to lie in the middle of the road.

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