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Inquest Held After 12-Year-Old U.K. Girl Killed Herself

| by Lauren Briggs

A 12-year-old U.K. girl died by suicide in May, four years after she lost her mother to breast cancer.

There was recently an inquest into the death of 12-year-old Isabel Ann Richardson, who committed suicide in May.

The inquest, which was held at Norfolk Coroner's Court, heard how Isabel, of Norwich, England, once told a school nurse that she felt "worthless" after the death of her mother, Metro reported.

Many who knew her described the young student as a "happy, funny girl" who was "always laughing," but those close to her also knew that the girl struggled to cope with the loss of her mother.

On May 12, Isabel's brother called her father, Stephen Richardson, because he was worried about morbid pictures she had been posting to Instagram.

Stephen went home immediately to find Isabel hanging in her bedroom, according to the Eastern Daily Press.

They rushed her to Addenbrooke's Hospital, where she died six days later, on May 18, with her father at her side.

Isabel's mother, Karina, died from breast cancer in 2010, which appears to have triggered many mental health problems for the young girl. The 12-year-old had confessed to Stephen five weeks earlier that she had been cutting herself and suffered from depression.

“I was aware of her self harm, but I never thought for a second she would do anything like take her own life," he said at the inquest. "I will always think I could have done more.”

Stephen and his daughter had begun speaking with counselors at the school about her mental health, and they referred the girl to a youth service.

"She said she was okay," the grief-stricken father said, adding that Isabel told him she had stopped cutting herself.

"She seemed a lot better since the meetings at the school," he added.

She was due to meet with a counselor at the youth service the day after she was found hanging.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake determined that the girl died from brain injury, cardiac arrest and hanging.

"I place no blame on any individual, however I am concerned about the robustness of the structure of pastoral care at the Hewett for supporting pupils, particularly when it is known they have problems," Lake said.

"Although she hanged herself, it could have been a cry for help," she added.

Sources: Metro, Eastern Daily Press
Photo Credit:Global Panorama/Flickr, Denise Bradley via Metro