Depressed Burnley teenager who took her own life never got over rape verdict, inquest told

Lancashire Telegraph: Kayley Howson Kayley Howson

A TEENAGER found hanging in her family home had suffered four years of depression after making an allegation of rape when she was 14, an inquest heard.

Kayley Howson made the allegations and gave evidence in court but the defendant was found not guilty, and Burnley Coroners’ Court heard that she took it ‘very, very hard’.

Four years later, in 2008, when she was 18, she hanged herself from the top of the stairs at the home in Rosehill Road.

Mum Janet Mitchell said: “She had no problems until the age of 14 and the allegation of sexual assault. She took the acquittal very, very hard. That really affected her and she started to self-harm.”

From then she began treatment through the Lancashire Care NHS Trust and began a number of treatments over the next four years.

The court heard that she had self-harmed or taken overdoses on numerous occasions, as well as threatening to hang herself previously.

On Saturday, March 1, 2008, she had been experiencing mood swings.

Mrs Mitchell said: “On the Saturday she had three heavy mood swings. We spoke about going on holiday next year and I arranged for her to come to the opticians with me on the Monday, she seemed to be more positive later in the day.”

After watching TV with her two nieces Kayley spoke to her mum about a film she had watched 20 minutes before going to bed at around 11.30pm.

Janet then went to go to bed shortly after 12.20am but as she got to the bottom of the stairs she noticed that Kayley was hanging from the banister.

Around two weeks before her death Kayley had stopped taking the drug depakote, more commonly used for treatment for epileptics, after a consultation with her doctor.

Janet said: “It was immediately noticeable that there was a change in her after about four or five days. Her mood swings became worse and she was worried and panicky.”

Dr Venu Duddu, from the Lancashire Care NHS Trust, who had been involved in Kayley’s treatment throughout, said depakote had probably been prescribed to treat Kayley’s impulsivity. He said that there was no evidence to suggest that discontinuing depakote affected Kayley’s behaviour.

The inquest is due to continue today.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree