Teenage girl 'found hanging' - inquest

A WEST Mersea man found a 15-year-old girl hanging dead just hours after he had had an argument with her mother, an inquest heard.Timothy Buckley – who uses the first name Sean – discovered Hannah Cockett, his partner's daughter, hanging from a bunk in a bedroom upstairs at his Mill Road home at around 2.

A WEST Mersea man found a 15-year-old girl hanging dead just hours after he had had an argument with her mother, an inquest heard.

Timothy Buckley - who uses the first name Sean - discovered Hannah Cockett, his partner's daughter, hanging from a bunk in a bedroom upstairs at his Mill Road home at around 2.15am on September 12 last year.

Mr Buckley took her body down and attempted to resuscitate her on the landing but was unable to do so.

Presiding at yesterday's inquest, Essex coroner Caroline Beasley-Murray heard Hannah's mother, Amanda Cockett, say she and Mr Buckley had had a “massive” row the previous afternoon about Hannah.

The argument had been so heated that after he had left the house she left with her two other children to stay with friends.

Mrs Cockett contacted Hannah - who was not present during the row - via a friend to explain the situation.

Most Read

Mr Buckley claimed the row had not been about Hannah, but the fact she had not located an internet webpage he wanted to view on a computer.

He said he had asked her earlier in the day to find the website. It was the last time he saw her alive, he said.

After the argument with Mrs Cockett, he went out to an Indian restaurant for a drink, then to a social club and finally around to a friend's house.

When he returned to his house he said he did not expect to find Mrs Cockett at home.

“I knew Mandy wouldn't be coming home. It was a habit of hers,” Mr Buckley said.

“When we had a row she would go round a friend's and stay out.

“I went from room to room, checking. Why I went to the box room where the bunk beds were I don't know. The door was ajar.

“I saw her there. Her feet were touching the ground. Her knees were bent. I can never understand how a little girl can hang herself with her feet on the ground.”

After the emergency services were called, Mr Buckley attempted to contact his partner on the phone.

Eventually he managed to get a message through to her after she ignored his calls. “She didn't believe me and sent some of her friends round,” Mr Buckley said.

The inquest heard that Hannah had been subject of a social services care order, was having difficulties at school and had been known to self-harm in the past.

A post mortem revealed she had died from suspension and also had a large amount of alcohol - more than twice the drink drive limit - in her blood.

The coroner was also told by the police that an investigation had concluded there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding Hannah's death.

After hearing the evidence, Mrs Beasley-Murray said: “The first verdict I could consider is that Hannah intended to take her own life. But I am not satisfied she intended to kill herself, having regard to the level of intoxication.

“I could record a verdict of accident, but I am not satisfied to the necessary standard of proof.

“I have decided to record an open verdict.”

Addressing Mrs Crockett and her family she said: “I would like to end by offering the court's sympathy to you on the saddest of losses. Quite clearly she was very close to you.”

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter