§ Mr. Lang
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he is considering setting up an inquiry under section 99 of the Children Act 1975 into the circumstances of the death on 13 August 1979 of Angela Burns.
§ Mr. Younger
I have been giving careful consideration to the circumstances in the case of Angela Burns' death, for which her brother, William Burns, was subsequently sentenced to five years' detention. At the time of her death Angela Burns was staying at her mother's home while subject to a supervision requirement made by a children's hearing under section 44 (1) (b) of the Social Work (Scotland) Act 1968, and William Burns was an absconder from an assessment centre. There are, however, a number of features arising from this case in relation to the circumstances of Angela Burns' death and to William Burns' position while he was an absconder to which I wish to give further consideration before I reach a conclusion on whether I would be justified in causing an inquiry into this case to be held under section 99 of the Children Act 1975. I am also bearing in mind the public concern which has been expressed about injuries to children, 230W particularly in the light of the death of Angela Burns and other cases which have been brought to my attention. I hope to announce my decision in this matter early in the autumn.