At her inquest yesterday, Chloe’s mother Louise Hiller described her daughter as “a shy girl and an amazing mum”, but said that she had been struggling in the months after the birth of her son.
The court was told that Chloe had been to her GP. She told him that she was having trouble sleeping and was prescribed antidepressants.
During the last two days of her life, Chloe sent her ex-boyfriend 37 text messages, one of which read: “I can’t do this anymore. I hang myself on Friday.” She also told him she planned to buy rope, and asked him whether it was possible to buy rope from a garage. But the boy, also 17, who was not at the inquest, didn’t take her warnings seriously and failed to raise the alarm.
Chloe had been staying in a mother and baby unit but had also been staying at her mother’s. On March 29th she told staff at the unit she was feeling “shitty” and wanted to stay at her mum’s another night. She was told that she had to go back.
Her mother had said that she was engrossed with her phone instead of watching her favourite TV programme and left the house at around 3pm, saying she was going to go to her ex-boyfriend’s house. Instead, in the hours before her death, she was captured on CCTV buying a rope from the garage. The sales assistant who sold her the rope had asked her what it was for, but she had replied that it was for securing a bouncy castle.
A police officer told the court: “Chloe did make references to her ex-boyfriend that she wanted to kill herself but he made a statement saying he didn’t expect anything like that to happen to her. He didn’t dispute that he got the messages, but what he said was that he didn’t take them seriously.”
Recording a conclusion of suicide, the coroner said: “There may have been issues in terms of morality with regards to a lack of response to the text messages that he received, but he could have had no way of assessing or believing or could have expected that Chloe would act in the way that she did. I cannot determine criminal liability…It is clear that her relationship was having an impact on her and the issues contributed to her intention to end her life.”
While the rôle of the ex-boyfriend in Chloe’s tragic death came under close scrutiny, no such attention was paid to the GP who ignored NICE Guidelines when deciding that Chloe would sleep better if she were take a drug that is not even designed or marketed for that purpose, and which carries with it a heightened risk of suicide when prescribed to children.