Schoolgirl, 13, found hanged ‘did not intend to end her own life’, coroner rules

A 13-year-old schoolgirl found hung at her home “did not intend to end her own life”, an inquest has heard.

Faith Hindle, from Salford, killed herself a day after telling an “overburned” mental health nurse that she feared she was unable to keep herself safe. She was pronounced dead at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital after being found hanged at her family’s home in Cadishead on the evening of December 8, 2018.

At an inquest at Bolton Coroner’s Court today, a coroner ruled that Faith, a pupil at Irlam and Cadishead Sports College, died as a result of “misadventure”. The hearing was told that in the months prior to her death, Faith’s family, school and GP practice had tried to help her access mental health support after she began self-harming.

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In August 2018, two referrals were made to Salford Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) after Faith attempted suicide, the inquest heard. Tayaba Nicholson, a mental health practitioner at Salford CAMHS, picked up the referral and promised to see Faith on a “three to four week basis”.

Dawn Dunleavy, a mental health practitioner at the Salford Mental Health Liaison Team – based at Salford Royal Hospital – said she saw Faith on September 17 after she took an overdose at school. She said Faith told her she had had a row with a friend and had taken the overdose as “she thought it might help her forget”.

Ms Dunleavy said the teenager denied any suicidal thoughts but admitted having previously cut her arm while upset. She next spoke to Faith when she was brought to A&E by her father, Lee, after she punched a wall at school and bruised her hand.



A coroner ruled that Faith Hindle, 13, “did not intend to end her own life”

Faith also appeared to have a ligature mark on her neck, Ms Dunleavy told the hearing. Salford CAMHS were informed and Faith was referred to the Junction 17 wing at Prestwich Hospital.

While attending Cloughside College, a school based within the hospital, Faith made several internet searches which included references to ‘suicide’, ‘hanging’ and ‘easy ways to kill yourself’. Headteacher Karen Ingham told the hearing that staff received an alert to say Faith had made the three searches within a six-minute period on November 20.

Ms Ingham added that Faith would have been aware that the searches were monitored and said she subsequently contacted the teenager’s mother to inform her about them.

The inquest heard that during an appointment with Ms Nicholson on November 27 – after being discharged from Junction 17 – Faith rated her mood as “two out of ten” and revealed that she “still wanted to kill herself”. At the time, the risk to her was deemed to be “high” but the hearing was told it had then been reduced before her next appointment on December 7.



Tributes left for Faith Hindle following her tragic death

During that telephone consultation- the day before Faith’s death – she told Ms Nicholson that she was experiencing suicidal thoughts on a daily basis and felt unable to keep herself safe. However, the inquest heard that Ms Nicholson deemed Faith’s presentation on the phone to be “as before” and that any risks were managed.

Faith’s parents were not informed of what she had said during the appointment and Ms Nicholson told the inquest she had a “very heavy caseload” at the time.

The following day, Faith met up with a group of friends. When the friends left her shortly before 8pm, they said she seemed to be in a “good mood”. The inquest heard Faith then returned home before her mother found her hung in a bedroom at 10.20pm.

Paramedics attended and Faith was taken to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where she was pronounced dead by medics. A pathologist gave Faith’s cause of death as “hanging”.



An inquest into Faith’s death was held at Bolton Coroner’s Court

Recording a conclusion of “misadventure”, coroner John Pollard ruled that Faith “did not intend to bring about her death”.

He said: “I know from the evidence I have heard that Faith had, on several occasions, tried to end her life. All of her actions amounted to a series of cries for help or attention.”

The coroner added that he believed that rather than Faith intending to kill herself, she thought she would be “found and looked after”. Mr Pollard described the support given to Faith as “patchy in its effectiveness” but said any failings were down to a “well-intentioned but overburdened individual”.

“This was not a systemic failure but simply a question of volume of work,” he added.

Samaritans (116 123) samaritans.org operates a 24-hour service available every day of the year. If you prefer to write down how you’re feeling, or if you’re worried about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at jo@samaritans.org, write to Freepost RSRB-KKBY-CYJK, PO Box 9090, STIRLING , FK8 2SA and visit www.samaritans.org/branches to find your nearest branch.

Mind 0300 123 3393 Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm) promotes the views and needs of people with mental health problems. Visit www.mind.org.uk

CALM (0800 58 58 58) thecalmzone.net has a helpline is for men who are down or have hit a wall for any reason, who need to talk or find information and support. They’re open 5pm to midnight, 365 days a year.

SANE (0300 304 7000) Emotional support, information and guidance for people affected by mental illness, their families and carers, daily, 4.30pm to 10.30pm. Visit www.sane.org.uk/support

For information on your local NHS urgent mental health helpline, visit here

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