Girl, 13, Hangs Self After Row With Her 18-Year-Old Sibling


A schoolgirl hanged herself after writing ‘I hate my brother’ on her arm following a sibling row. Bethany Fitton was found by her 18-year-old brother Ben after they had squabbled over something trivial.

An inquest heard the 13-year-old, described by her school as an ‘outstanding’ pupil, was found hanging at their home in West Yorkshire. A paediatric pathologist found she suffered a heart attack due to hanging, causing hypoxia to the brain.

Bethany was a popular and happy girl who had a ‘typical relationship’ with her brother, the inquest heard.

Ben told police he and his sister would regularly squabble about ‘silly little things’ and said the row that morning had ‘been a 4 on a scale of 10’.Bethany’s mother said the teenager had been happy and chatty the previous evening and they talked about how Bethany spent more time in her room, to which she’d answered: ‘Mum, I’m a teenager.

She described Bethany as a ‘reliable and capable’ girl with a lot of common sense.

On the morning of her death on June 22 last year, the pair had argued because Ben had slept late and Bethany did not wake him.

During lessons later at Calder High School in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, she doodled on her left arm in ink, ‘I hate my brother’.

Bethany’s accountant father Richard was still at work and her older brother had gone to the cinema with his girlfriend.

Her mother Estelle said Bethany took her dinner upstairs and played music.

She said when Ben returned home, he was asked to take a basket of laundry upstairs – and found his sister hanging. He and his girlfriend untied Bethany and gave her CPR.

Recording an open verdict, Assistant Coroner Peter Merchant said she left no suicide note and he could not be satisfied she intended to take her own life.

He said despite that morning’s argument and the message on her arm, Bethany and Ben were normal siblings.

‘It seems to me it was a typical relationship between a 13-year-old sister and an 18-year-old brother.

‘He had slept in and she had not woken him up. He decided she should have done so and she took a view to the contrary.

‘There is simply no explanation given to why Bethany would do what she did on that day.’

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