Teen did not mean to kill himself - mum

A TEENAGER who hung himself in woods close to a football club was seeking attention and did not mean to kill himself, his mother told an inquest.

Annie Davidson

A TEENAGER who hung himself in woods close to a football club was seeking attention and did not mean to kill himself, his mother told an inquest.

Luke Starckey, 18, was described as an “active and healthy lad” at the hearing yesterday, which was attended by his grieving parents Samantha and Graham Starckey and Mrs Starckey's partner Jay Beecher.

Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray was told that Luke, of Braintree, had been in a “typical teenage relationship” with his girlfriend for two years.


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Coroner's officer Phil Sitch said that on the evening of April 18 this year Luke had called his girlfriend and said he was “upset at everything” and told her he was going to kill himself.

Mr Sitch said: “Later she tried to phone him but got no reply and she contacted his parents who believed Luke was at his friend's address playing computer games.

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“There was no concern at that time. The following morning Luke didn't return home and concerns for his safety were raised and he was reported as a missing person to police.”

Officers carried out an extensive search for the former Alec Hunter High School pupil and his body was found in woods behind Braintree Football Club in Stubbs Lane on the evening of April 19.

He had hung himself from the low branch of a tree and his body was lying on the ground, Mr Sitch said.

A post mortem examination found the cause of death to be asphyxiation due to strangulation due to hanging.

Toxicology tests found that Luke had an alcohol level of 189mgs in 100mls of blood - the legal limit for driving is 80mgs.

Police investigated the death and found there were no suspicious circumstances.

Mrs Starckey said in a statement that she did not believe her son was capable of forming the intent to take his own life and that it had been an “attention seeking issue” which led to his death.

Mrs Beasley-Murray said the amount of alcohol Luke had drunk would have “affected his state of mind and judgement a bit.”

“I have born in mind what Mrs Starckey said and I am not satisfied that Luke formed the intention of taking his own life and then took that deliberate action,” she said. “I am not satisfied that it was an accident either so I am going to record an open verdict - there is not enough evidence for any other verdict.”

She added: “This is the most dreadful of tragedies - a young boy with probably a bright future in front of him. I do hope you can treasure all the very happy memories you have of Luke.”

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