Heartbroken girl, 12, hanged herself after losing her mother to breast cancer
A 12-year-old schoolgirl whose mother died of breast cancer killed herself after posting self-harm pictures on Instagram, an inquest has heard.
Isabel Ann Richardson, from Norwich, was struggling with feelings she was ‘worthless’ and ’empty’ after losing her mother Karina to the disease in 2010.
Earlier that evening, Isabel’s father Stephen Richardson was called by her brother about distressing images she had posted online.
Entering her bedroom to check on her, he found her hanging and she was rushed to hospital. She died six days later.
The inquest at Norfolk Coroner’s Court heard Isabel had told her father about the self harming five weeks prior to her death.
After he was informed, the two began speaking to a school nurse and were referred to bereavement service Nelson’s Journey. Isabel was also due to speak to a youth service counsellor the day after she was found dead.
The inquest heard Mr Richardson said his daughter told him she had stopped hurting herself and he thought she was a lot happier since the meetings.
However, he added: ‘I was aware of her self harm, but I never thought for a second she would do anything like take her own life.
‘I will always think I could have done more.’
Coroner Jacqueline Lake recorded a narrative verdict – saying it wasn’t clear if Isabel had intended to take her life.
She said: ‘Although she hanged herself, this could have been a cry for help.’