A TEENAGER who died in a secure children's home was in a "playful" mood on the day of her death, an inquest has heard.

Taylor Alice Williams died at Aycliffe Security Centre, in Newton Aycliffe, in February 2017.

Crook Coroner's Court, which is holding an inquest into the death of the 17-year-old, heard the number of incidents of her self-harming had reduced in the weeks before her death.

Taylor moved to the centre in July 2016, following a decision that she needed to be in secure accommodation for her welfare, following a several hospital admissions.

The centre keeps a record of each "episode" of self-harm that takes place there.

Caroline Eubank, who was the case manager at Taylor's house, said the teenager's episodes had reduced from 34 in July 2016 to five the following January and one in the February of her death.

It followed an intervention to make her care more clinical.

Ms Eubank said: "It wasn't always easy to implement because it goes against the nurturing aspect of the care team. However, we did see a reduction in increase of self-harm."

Ms Eubank told jurors about some of the work which the centre had been doing with Taylor during her time there.

She said: "She wasn't ready to do any psychological work for a very long time. The key for therapeutic interventions is they have to engage and have to be ready and willing to do it. Taylor was very honest about the fact she wasn't. She wasn't ready to do long term work."

Referring to 2017, she added: "Taylor became very reflective in January and February and I think that was the first time we had seen Taylor be able to reflect on her behaviour and understand why she was feeling the way she was."

Taylor died on February 18 after being discovered in bed with a ligature around her neck.

Ms Eubank said: "My understanding is that on the morning of the 18th Taylor was in a really positive and pleasant mood. Staff reported her as being playful and energetic.

"She was pretending to be a unicorn and was running around the house."

The inquest continues.