THE parents of a 17-year-old found dead in woodland have demanded answers on how he was handled by agencies involved in treating him for mental health difficulties.

Matthew Young was discovered in a wooded area in the town after failing to return to his home in Walshaw on September 9 last year, an inquest heard.

The Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar pupil had been given treatment from his GP for mental health issues, including suicidal thoughts, for two years prior to this.

His father Ian Young told Rochdale Coroner's Court his son had twice tried to access a school counsellor on the day he died but was “refused.”

He said: “Our family will never be the same again without him. This should never have happened.”

The inquest was told of an incident two weeks before his death, where his mother, Jacquelyn Young, came upstairs to find him in a “trance-like state” at his desk in his room.

The court heard he had taken ketamine and he later said he had done this when he was unable to sleep and his Sertraline medication was not working.

His parents called for an ambulance but due to Covid rules were not able to go with him to hospital during the incident, on the morning of August 24.

Dr Paul Wallman, of Fairfield General Hospital, went to speak to Mr Young while he was in hospital.

Giving evidence, he said he had “no indication or what was going to happen 17 days later.”

He said: “There was nothing pointing out to me, with regards to a man or young person known to mental health services, that something catastrophic was going to take place in the near future.”

But he said this case had reoriented his thinking, and was now a “calibration” for when a patient can be discharged.

He completed an online form about the incident, but it was unclear whether this was sent to Healthy Young Minds Bury, which had worked with Mr Young previously.

His mother said she rang the service the day he was taken to hospital but had to wait for an hour and ten minutes to speak to a receptionist.

She told the hearing she was not then contacted by the body until September 9.

Dr Thomas, who was the GP for Mr Young, who works at the Mile Lane Surgery, said upon hearing about the hospitalisation they had tried to arrange an appointment.

But this had been cancelled by a receptionist due to an issue over confidentiality in respect of whether the contact number was Mr Young’s or that of a family member.

He said this emerged when they looked in “greater depth” into the case.

The hearing was told a post-mortem examination of Mr Young’s body found traces of ketamine in it, which were likely to have been taken in less than 12 hours before his death.

The inquest, before coroner Catherine Mckenna, continues.