Girl, 14, had discussed suicide, inquest told

Published in East Yorkshire news

A girl found hanged in East Yorkshire after discussing a suicide pact with her friend may not have meant to take her own life, an inquest heard.

Jessica Blake, 14, who had a history of self-harm, was found sitting in a tree with a ligature around her neck after going missing from her home in Beverley.

But she may not have intended to kill herself, the inquest at Hull Coroner’s Court heard.

Coroner Geoffrey Saul recorded a narrative verdict, saying Jessica’s age, “history of fantasy” and the fact she was found in a sitting position meant he could not be certain her death was suicide.

He said Jessica was found dead in a wooded area behind Chester Avenue, Beverley, on August 26, having hanged herself.

A statement by Jessica’s friend said they discussed self-harm or suicide when they were unhappy or angry, but they were just “thoughts” and she never believed it would happen.

Jessica was referred to a children’s mental health service last year after her school discovered she had been self-harming, and she had a number of appointments before being discharged in February.

She told staff she had experienced problems at school, which had since been resolved, and felt frustrated at home because of chores she had to do as a result of her mother’s disability.

Police and social services became involved after Jessica said her father hit her but an investigation found no evidence of this and Jessica admitted she made it up. In March, a fire officer alerted the authorities after Jessica set fire to her bedroom curtains while lighting paper in a bin.

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