Haslingden schoolgirl's hanging may have been 'cry for help', says coroner (From Lancashire Telegraph)
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Haslingden schoolgirl's hanging may have been 'cry for help', says coroner
A TEENAGE girl hanged herself at her dad’s home in what may have been meant as a ‘cry for help’, an inquest heard.
Jade Stringer, a pupil at Haslingden High School, had been struggling to cope with ‘boyfriend issues’, but her parents saw these as normal teenage problems and were trying to help the 14-year-old, the inquest heard yesterday.
She had been left ‘sulking’ in her bedroom on June 10 last year following an argument with her dad about her mobile phone, the inquest was told. When David Stringer returned from the garden of their Edenfield home about half an hour later, he found Jade hanging.
He performed CPR before paramedics rushed Jade to Fairfield General Hospital in Bury, but her condition deteriorated and she died six days later.
Mr Stringer said Jade had been grounded after getting involved with ‘some lad who we didn’t think much of’ and said: “There was one incident where she was taken back to her auntie’s by the police...We actually grounded her for that because she was drunk.
“This boy had apparently hit her and assaulted her so we got the police involved.”
Mr Stringer said he had also confiscated Jade’s mobile phone as he did not want the boy to contact her while the police were investigating.
He said: “We told her she could have her phone back on the condition we could check it and make sure this lad hadn’t sent her any messages threatening her or anything.
“She was in a sulky state and didn’t want me to switch the phone on, so it was a bit of a stand-off.
“When she didn’t get her own way she could have a sulk and I just thought that was what she was doing.”
Mum Natalie Ingoe said Jade had been a happy and popular child, but she became concerned in 2011 when her daughter started going out more and became involved with an older boy, although they split after a few months.
Ms Ingoe said: “I think there were a couple of incidents later on. I think she’d been to a party and she’d told her dad she’d slept with someone and it had caused problems with her boyfriend at the time.”
Jade did not like being confronted about the older boyfriend, but started getting on better with her mum when she moved into her dad’s home in Bolton Road, Edenfield in early 2012, the inquest in Rochdale heard.
Around this time she became upset by some text messages she had been sent by some boys, but Mr Stringer said: “We’d all spoken about it together with Jade.
“She seemed to realise why we were worried about certain things and understood we just wanted to talk about it and come to a solution.
“We thought it was normal teenage behaviour. She had one or two issues with boyfriends and things like that but nothing you’d think would be major.”
The inquest heard that a few months earlier Jade had taken an overdose of paracetamol tablets, though this was not thought to be ‘a serious attempt to take her own life’.
She was seen by her GP and referred to mental health experts, but after the first appointment was cancelled due to staff shortages this was not pursued by the family, the inquest heard.
Referring to the hanging, Lisa Hashmi, assistant deputy coroner for Greater Manchester (North), said: “I can’t be sure on the evidence I have heard it was not simply another cry for help or call for attention, knowing there were others present in the family home at the time and the potential she would or could have been found at any moment.
“She’d had an open and honest relationship with her parents in relation to her difficulties. I’ve also heard evidence she was looking to the future, both immediate and long term.
“There had been no indication that Jade would self-harm.
“We can’t be sure she intended to take her own life. I therefore discount that as a verdict.”
Recording a verdict of misadventure, she told Jade’s parents: “It was an impossible situation that you found yourself in. While such a loss will never go away I do hope the conclusion will allow you the ability to move on and cope with the loss.”
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