Turns out this chap was known to have a low IQ and behavioral issues described as 'a severe conduct disorder'.
My question is; why was he not in supervised care, as at 16 he was old enough to be medically considered an adult, even if he was incapable of behaving appropriately. Strikes me that he ought to have been monitored a bit more than he was, as he had been flagged as having problems for five years already. But for some reason, he and his family was not offered the support he needed to make the most of his life.
Then, on another page of the BBC, I read: Inactivity 'kills more than obesity' . There are almost 700 comments on this article, which range from 'it's your responsibility to keep yourself healthy' to 'stop blaming the state and give more money to the NHS...'.
Personally, I was told at age 8 to avoid all weight bearing sports because too much stress could harm my bones and potentially I could then end up in a wheelchair. So how come by age 38 I'd walked four half marathons, several 5k and 10k races and finished third in the first 5k I ever took part in?!
Because I know my body better than doctors. I also know that walking helps me to think straight. I can put one foot in front of the other for mile after mile at a steady pace of around 3.5mph. I don't enjoy aerobics, dance class, zumba, yoga or any of those exercise routines, but walking is simple, easy and requires only a decent pair of trainers. I took responsibility for finding out what I could do, and then doing it.
The comment at the end of the article shows how out of touch some of these 'experts' can appear though. The head of the Faculty of Public Health suggested that "If more people cycled or walked to work or school, it would make a big difference in raising levels of physical activity."
I'd like to point out to the venerable Professor that I live 11 miles from my workplace by the quickest route, which is down a motorway. Last I checked, neither walking nor cycling were permitted on a motorway in the United Kingdom. And in any case, I don't cycle. But even walking that distance would take me almost three hours. Hardly practical.
These articles indicate the confused nature of advice and help available. Perhaps the parents of that teen had asked for help and support to control his behavior, and had not received it. Meantime we are being told to take responsibility for our own health - but in a way which is impractical to many.
Sort it out already, leaders, 'experts' and professionals...