A bright Wantage teenager predicted top grades in his GCSE exams may not have meant to take his own life, Oxfordshire’s coroner has ruled.
Oxfordshire Coroner’s Court heard King Alfred’s Academy pupil Dylan Edwards, 15, had been stressed about schoolwork when he hanged himself in his bedroom last year on Friday, October 23 – when the school was closed for a teacher training day.
Oxfordshire Coroner Darren Salter said Dylan’s behaviour could have been “tentative” rather than deliberate.
His GP Rebecca Low, from Church Street Practice, told the court Dylan was predicted A*s in his GCSEs and took an overdose of paracetamol on the first day of the school year last September.
He was referred to the South Oxfordshire Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS), based in Abingdon.
Senior mental health practitioner Philip Nagle said: “Dylan reported that his mood had started deteriorating in July 2015 at the end of the school year.
“The school was supportive but his mood was still affected by his schoolwork.
“I concluded there were a number of biological symptoms of depression.”
Mr Nagle also said Dylan told him he had not intended to die.
Senior coroner for Oxfordshire, Darren Salter, said: “Was there an intention to take his own life or was this an extension of previous self harm behaviour and was it tentative in nature in the same way as the paracetamol overdose?”
Recording a narrative conclusion on Tuesday, Mr Salter said: “I don’t think there was an intention to take his own life.”
Dylan’s family gave a statement saying: “Our world is a lesser place without him.”
It added: “Dylan was a much loved, wonderful young man – full of compassion, kindness and fun.
“A talented musician; he was clever, thoughtful and funny with a promising future.
“We are enormously proud of the positive impact he has made and of his considerable achievements.”
In an account for the coroner Dylan’s dad Matthew Edwards said the day Dylan died he had been due to help him with his homework at 10am, but could not find him.
Dylan’s mum Annette Edwards found him in his room upstairs after coming home from work at about 1pm.
Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, which runs CAHMS, carried out an internal investigation.
A report recommended reviewing how the trust discusses mental health risks with young people and their families, and improving knowledge of school nurses about mental health.
Trust spokesman Margaret Eaglestone, said: “We would like to extend our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Dylan Edwards.”
She added the trust has implemented the recommendations.
Dylan’s family also urged for anyone with mental health issues to reach out to the Charlie Waller Memorial Trust or Young Minds charities.
They also asked for anyone who has been affected by the tragedy to consider making a donation to the two charities in Dylan’s memory.