A 13-year-old British Boy identified as Harry Storey hanged himself to death at his Oxfordshire, England, home after he found out that the girl he had a crush on was dating someone else.
The charismatic sports-mad boy was discovered hanging by his father, Andrew Storey, after he walked into the house after finishing work and saw the teenager out of the corner of his eye.
According to MirrorUK, the father initially thought that his son was standing on the stairs, talking to someone on the phone, but quickly realized that it wasn’t the case.
“I could not comprehend what I was seeing,” Andrew said at a recent inquest hearing.
He started performing CPR on the unconscious boy before shouting to his wife to call the ambulance.
The teenager was rushed to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and remained in the pediatric intensive care unit until his tragic death three days later.
Harry’s cause of death was confirmed to be hypoxic-ischemic brain injury due to asphyxiation by suspension.
Investigating officer Detective Sergeant Lou Heffernan-Glover said that they had discovered a number of messages exchanged between the deceased and his friends where he admitted having suicidal thoughts after finding out that a close friend that he had a crush on had a boyfriend. However, none of his pals took him seriously.
Harry had also watched a TV program before his death in which a girl tried to kill herself by hanging—something that might have glamorized the idea of suicide in his eyes.
“We watched a program where the female star had hanged herself but her friends rescued her. It made us wonder whether he had a sensationalized view of what might happen,” coroner Darren Salter was told.
Heffernan-Glover, who had been handling such cases for four years now, said that she did not believe that Harry killed himself intentionally. There was a distinct possibility that the teenager miscalculated how quickly he would lose consciousness after hanging himself.
“It is anything from as little as 30 seconds. He was in a position where he could have put his feet on the floor. I think he lost consciousness unexpectedly. It could not have been predicted or prevented by his family,” she added.
Harry’s death came as a “complete shock” to his family who never was concerned about him being suicidal in the past.
“Harry was a charismatic, caring boy and sport was a huge part of his life, playing rugby, cricket and tennis,” Andrew said. “He would talk to anyone with ease and he had a natural ability to strike up a conversation which I admired him for. He seemed to us to be just a normal teenager but he did have high expectations of himself. It came as a complete shock to me.”
Instead of a verdict of suicide, the Salter ruled it as a misadventure.
“Harry did the action himself and had made comments about suicide,” he said in conclusion at the inquest. “However, teenagers do say things of that nature. There is an element of speculation but it seems to me that Harry did not intend it to be fatal. Therefore the conclusion is one of misadventure. Misadventure is similar to an accident, it is the deliberate undertaking of a risk that goes wrong causing death.”