AMBER PEAT: Father and grandmother 'excluded from her life', inquest told.

Amber Peat
Amber Peat

An inquest heard how Amber Peat's biological father and grandmother had been excluded from her life in the years leading up to her tragic death.

Adrian Cook, Amber's biological father gave evidence at the inquest in Nottingham coroner's court this morning.

He told Assistant coroner Laurinder Bower that he had started a relationship with Amber's mother, then Kelly Pickford in 2000. They had two children together.

Their relationship had ended on Christmas Eve 2012.

Mr Cook said after he moved out of the family home he saw his children when he could as he worked awkward shifts.

The last time he had seen Amber was in January or February 2013, when she was 10.

He said:" They didn't see me as often as they wanted. I said you have got my phone number, I'll see you as often as I can.

"The last time I saw her she was happy and cheerful until I had to take her home.

" It was agreed I would see them for a few hours. That is all I would get."

He said he had tried to ring Kelly to a range more meetings with Amber but she kept putting him off.

"Every time I rang she said no you can't see her it was inconvenient. You can't just see her at the drop of a hat.

"There was no give or take with Kelly."

He had started another job but when he went round to the family's address in Huthwaite there was no one there.

The next time he had contact with the family was when he found out about Amber going missing in the days before she was found hanged in July 2015.

He said: "I tried to contact Kelly from the missing persons list. I got a vile abusive reply from Danny Peat . He said " She's not your *****daughter. "

"I was in deep shock about it. The information was a bit cloudy."

He said he had been unaware of the running away and other issues she had been going through at the time.

Giving evidence next was Amber's paternal grandmother Jennifer Lancaster.

She said Amber was a sweet lovable child. "She was silly and chaotic like kids are. She was very loving and liked a cuddle. "

From 2012 she had seen her grandchildren some weekends and they had stayed over.

One one occasion Amber had been weepy.

"She heard a conversation between her mum and grandma saying I wouldn't want to see them.

" How can you not want to see two little ones like that. They loved to come. "

She had given them charm bracelets on Mother's Day 2013 and they had bought her a card. It was the last time she had seen them.

She had bought them Easter eggs and birthday presents and sent texts.

Kelly had told her they were moving but said she was not comfortable with her knowing the new address.

Mrs Lancaster had been told Amber had gone missing in June 2015 and said it had been a great shock.

"I phoned Kelly's number and Danny answered the phone.

" I said "Where's my granddaughter?"

"He said we are doing what we can.

" I asked to speak to Kelly and he said she didn't want anything to do with that side of the family.

"When she passed away I couldn't see her at the undertakers.

" They had to contact Kelly.

"I didn't realise until that point just how cruel she could be."

The inquest next heard from Amber's maternal grandmother Diane Gilliband

Describing her granddaughter she said: "You could hear Amber coming before she came into the room. She was very excitable with a distinctive laugh. A vibration.

" She loved anything adrenaline fuelled like dancing an body boarding in the sea.

"She loved reading Harry Potter and science fiction.

" She was a big character, full of life.

"She adored her mum and they had the same quirky sense of humour."

She said Amber enjoyed her new stepfathers company and that she and her sibling had chosen to change their surnames to his themselves.

"Amber said he is more than a dad to me than ever my old one was."

She said Amber had enjoyed being part of the extended family, though missed having her mum to herself.

Mrs Gilliband said Amber had a changeable character and could be moody.

"I was upset to find out she was unhappy at school. I know she didn't like school. She had run away from class."

She said as Amber started puberty she had moments of defiance and had developed a temper. Her grandmother had tried to give her techniques to deal with her issues like taking deep breaths or counting to 10.

"She was a tomboy. We discussed how bit by bit she would change."

She said it had shocked her to find out Amber had tried to harm herself in the park.

She described the family as an average family who had Sunday lunches together, went shopping together an enjoyed holidays parks and picnics.

She said she had never seen Danny Peat or Kelly threaten or physically abuse the children.

The couple had adopted a reward and take away approach to discipline.

It had been consistent and fair.

She had never seen Danny Peat raise his voice.

"I never saw him out of control or anything other than doing his best. My priority isn't him its my grandchildren.

She had heard Amber and her cousin laughing and giggling about what they would do if they ran away and told them to stop.

"I didn't like it, I felt uncomfortable."

Mrs Gilliband said she had been aware of occasions when Amber had run away from home.

The coroner questioned why she would have done it if she had been happy at home.

She said: "I asked her that and she said she didn't know.

" She talked about bullying at school and a lack of friends. "

She said she had no reason whatever to believe Amber would take her life in June 2015.