AN inquest into the death of a teenager who died two days after being found unresponsive in Taunton five years ago will begin on Tuesday, April 2.

Cariss Stone, from Street, was 19-years-old when she spent five months on the psychiatric intensive care unit at Wellsprings Hospital in Taunton after being detained under the Mental Health Act.

Lawyers say she was found unresponsive in the bathroom of her room on the Holford Ward at the hospital on August 9, 2019, and died on August 11, 2019 following advice from doctors to withdraw life-sustaining treatment.

It is alleged that at the time, Cariss, who had been known to mental health services since the age of 15 and had been detained six times previously, was on a regime that mandated observations every five-minutes.

An inquest into the death of the 19-year-old is due to start at Wells Town Hall on Tuesday, April 2, lasting up to ten days.

Cariss’ mum, Gina Schiraldi and brother, Luke Stone, have now spoken for the first time about their loss.

They will be represented at the hearing by specialist lawyers at Irwin Mitchell and Scarlett Milligan.

Gina said: “Cariss was a very special and beautiful young lady who had a lot to offer to the world. She was a bright, caring, compassionate young woman with the biggest cheeky smile. She wanted to make the world a more caring and just place for everyone.

“She had a very caring and compassionate and empathetic nature. She loved being a volunteer police cadet, and even while facing her own difficulties, she was concerned for others who were struggling in the world.

“While it’s approaching five years since we lost Cariss, time has stood still for us. We still have many concerns about what happened and whether more could have been done to help her.

"We would do anything to have Cariss back in our lives.

“The least we can do is now honour her memory by establishing answers."

Lawyers state that between 2014 and 2018 Cariss was admitted to hospital four times after being diagnosed with an eating disorder.

In March 2019, she was reportedly detained under the Mental Health Act, marking the third period of detention since January 2019 and her seventh overall.

She was initially admitted to St Andrew’s Ward at Priory Health Park in Wells, on March 22, 2019, and was transferred between various wards before being admitted to Holford Ward in Taunton, in June 2019.