Teenager hanged herself after argument with boyfriend, inquest hears

THE family of a teenager found hanged after an argument with her boyfriend have issued a warning about the ‘immediacy’ of technology and social media.

Helen Jenkins, aged 19, died in October last year after her partner, Jonathan Terry, found out about an incident involving Miss Jenkins and a friend of his. They argued via text message and on the phone.

It is thought Mr Terry ended the relationship, although told the inquest that he believed they would have ‘sorted things out’.

However, Wigton resident, Miss Jenkins, was later found hanged in the bathroom of a caravan in Askham, near Penrith.

Now her family have issued a statement urging others to use phone and internet technology responsibly.

They said: “The use of phone and internet technology allows anyone and everyone to communicate instantaneously, sending messages or expressing thoughts which, but for that immediacy, might well be changed or withdrawn or viewed as inappropriate in the cold light of day.”

They added: “We all share this responsibility and Helen’s tragic death only serves to remind us to re-double out efforts to safeguard our children and to act considerably towards others in times of pain and stress.”

The inquest, held at Kendal Magistrates Court, heard that the Northumbria University student had been about to set off on a gap year with Mr Terry, and had secured employment for the ski season at Val d’Isere, in France.

But following the row, on October 11, the pair exchanged several text messages. Miss Jenkins sent a final message at around 9.40pm. Four messages later sent by Mr Terry went unread.

It is thought she hanged herself in the caravan after sending the final message, although she was not found until later on. Death was pronounced on October 12.

Giving a narrative verdict, coroner, Ian Smith, said: “On October 11 last year, as far as Helen was concerned, everything was over and everything was total dispair, life wasn’t worth living.

“She could see no future for herself and she took an action that, objectively, is totally over the top, and that was to take her own life, which she did.”

Her parents added: “As today’s coroner’s verdict shows, even someone as well-adjusted and well-loved as Helen can take their own life at a sudden and unforeseeable time of crisis in their life.”

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