Amber Peat’s biological father took aim at her stepfather at her inquest today, accusing him of treating the coroner’s court as ‘a joke’.
The 13-year-old schoolgirl was found dead in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in May 2015 three days after she stormed out of her house after a row with mother Kelly Peat and step-father Danny over cleaning out a cool box following a holiday to Cornwall.
Kelly and Danny Peat failed to report her missing for eight hours after going to the supermarket, out for dinner and to the car wash.
Her biological father was given the chance to quiz her stepfather at Nottingham Coroner’s Court during the month long inquiry into her death since he is a registered ‘interested party’.
Amber’s biological father Adrian Cook claimed he found out the teenager was missing on Facebook.
Adrian said to Danny: ‘I have sat here and listened to the evidence and I think you have approached this as a joke. I think you have treated this whole courtroom as a joke.’
Amber’s biological father Adrian Cook (left) was at the Nottingham inquest today having claimed he found out the teenager was missing on Facebook. He also took aim at her stepfather Danny Peat (right at the inquest today)
Kelly Peat (pictured today) had put her daughter Amber’s disappearance down to ‘attention-seeking’ and had believed she would come back, an inquest has heard
Daniel Peat said to police that Amber’s her ‘only hobby was reading and she had no real friends’
He then asked him: ‘Making Amber wash the dishes all the time, did you ever consider her emotional well-being?’
Danny replied: ‘I saw her as my daughter, but obviously kids do have to have some sort of discipline in place. I didn’t think washing pots was a massive thing.’
Adrian then asked if it was ‘neglectful’ that they had waited so long to report Amber missing.
Danny replied: ‘I wasn’t worried. I just assumed she would walk through the door. That she had had a strop and walked out and would be back soon.’
Nottingham Coroner’s Court has heard allegations the 13-year-old was ‘heavily sanctioned’ for ‘undesirable behaviour’ – including being told to wash every pot in the kitchen and being woken at 10.30pm and forced to mop the floors.
Earlier, Amber Peat’s mother denied her daughter had wanted to kill herself and instead claimed the teenager was taking part in a self-harming ‘competition’ at school.
Kelly Peat said her 13-year-old child’s intention was to ‘mark herself’ rather than take her own life when she was found hanged in bushes in Mansfield.
She said today: ‘We thought she was going to come back. I was just giving her time to calm down’.
Amber’s mother also told the Nottingham inquest into her death that she had smashed her daughter’s phone with a hammer during one big row.
She also admitted they would ‘butt heads’ over household chores but denied allegations that the 13-year-old was made to get up out of bed at 10.30pm and clean the floors for three hours.
Mrs Peat also sobbed as she knocked back allegations made by Amber’s youth worker that she laughed when her daughter gave her a note saying ‘I just want to be your little girl again’.
Amber was found dead in this hedgerow in Mansfield – but her mother believes she had not meant to hang herself
Last week a police officer claimed that Mrs Peat showed ‘no emotion’ after the 13-year-old fled and gave ‘rehearsed’ information to police before putting Amber’s disappearance down to ‘attention-seeking’.
It is believed she was already dead by the time they called in the police.
The last man to see her alive told detectives turned up at his door two days after he reported it to them.
Adam Lamb said the police asked if they could walk to where he last spotted Amber at 5.20pm on May 30 2015 and she was found hanging in the hedgerow nearby.
The coroner has been told the vulnerable teenager was being ’emotionally abused’ at home and subjected to a series of draconian punishments for ‘undesirable behaviour’.
On one occasion, she claimed she had been been awoken by her stepfather at 1.30am and told to mop floors as a punishment for failing to fulfil domestic chores.
Amber vanished at around 5.10pm – but wasn’t reported missing until 12.56am the following day, after her parents had their dinner and went shopping.
Tragically she was already dead by that point.
PC Nicola Roe was one of the first officers to respond to the missing persons call from Kelly Peat.
She went to the family home with a colleague and was told by the 37-year-old that Amber had stormed out of the house after being asked to clean out a cool box.
Kelly Peat, and step father Danny Peat appeal for missing Amber to come home – but by that time she was already dead
The family did not report Amber missing until they had ‘been to Tesco and had their tea’. Pictured above the missing poster which was put up once it had been reported that Amber was missing
Asked by coroner Laurinda Bower for her observations about Kelly, PC Roe replied: ‘She was quite matter-of-fact about how she was describing the situation.’
Amber Peat wrote to her mother Kelly telling her: ‘I just wanted to be you little girl again’ – but she laughed at it, the inquest heard previously
The officer said she ‘wasn’t really surprised’ because ‘people present differently’, adding: ‘She seemed tired but not particularly emotional. Not upset, maybe frustrated.
‘She explained the background that she had gone missing previously in similar circumstances, and referred to her throwing temper tantrums and attention-seeking behaviour.’
PC Roe said the family ‘seemed quite well rehearsed in giving information to the police’, and ‘the general consensus was they expected her back the next morning’.
She added: ‘They said she normally came back at night and that is why they left it quite late to report it.’
In extraordinary scenes last week Amber’s biological father was described as ‘nothing but a sperm donor’ and subjected to ‘vile abuse by her stepdad’, he told the inquest into his daughter’s death.
Adrian Cook found out about the 13-year-old’s disappearance on Facebook and tried to contact her mother, Kelly Peat, for information, but was bombarded with angry insults from Danny Peat.
Danny Peat told Amber’s estranged father: ‘She is not your f****** daughter. She wants nothing to do with you. You are nothing but a sperm donor’, the inquest heard.
Peat, who ran away from home and was found dead in hedgerow three days later felt she was being ‘humiliated’ by her stepfather and cruelly forced to do household chores.