Monday, December 17, 2018

Girl Found Hanged At Same Spot Her Dad Had Taken His Own Life

A teenager haunted by her father's death was found hanged at the same spot where he had taken his own life almost a decade earlier, an inquest heard.

A group of children found Mia Bell, 15, hanging in woodland near her home after visiting the secluded spot before it was cleared to build new homes.

Mia had been an "outgoing and happy child" until her father Steven died by suicide in 2008, when she was just six-years-old.

She grew into a troubled youngster who never got over the loss and regularly visited the wood to be close to her dad, the inquest was told.

On the day of the tragedy Mia had been happily helping out in the garden and relatives had no reason to suspect anything when she told them she was going to the secluded spot before developers began building houses on it.

Chesterfield Coroner's Court heard a group of children approached a passing dog walker and told him they had "seen a demon in the woods".

He went to investigate and found Mia, then immediately dialled 999. Paramedics arrived at the scene and began CPR and managed to regain a pulse.

The teen was rushed to King's Mill Hospital in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Notts, then transferred to Nottingham's Queen's Medical Centre, but her condition deteriorated quickly and she died on August 31 last year.

The inquest, held on Friday, heard that Mia was a troubled youngster with a history of self-harm and hearing voices.

She also intermittently suffered from suicidal thoughts and hallucinations and spoke of a vision she sometimes had of a "little girl with black hair" who "told her to hurt herself".

The court heard that Mia had been a happy child who loved going to sleepovers and parties, until her father Steven took his own life in 2008.

After that she "became quite withdrawn". On her regular visits to the spot where he took his own life she would leave gifts of leaving beer, flowers and notes.

When her mum, Kelly Duffield, began a new relationship Mia had difficulties accepting her stepdad, forming a "perceived rejection".

Despite their family's best efforts to make her feel loved and included she eventually moved out of the home.

In a formally arranged foster agreement, Mia moved in with her older cousin Carissa Bell, who was a "nurturing" figure in her life.

Carissa told the court that Mia seemed "very happy". On the day of the tragedy she had cheerfully been helping out in the garden at her home in Alfreton, Derbys.

Carissa said: "I had no reason to suspect anything was wrong.

"Mia's dad's ashes were never buried, they were in storage. She didn't have a grave she could go to, so instead she would visit the woods.

"The day she left, she told me she was going out to the woods before 'they were taken down' as the area was being redeveloped for housing.

"I didn't think I had any reason to worry, as it was such a regular thing."

Tributes left to Mia on Facebook describe the teenager as a "beautiful, caring and lovely' girl" who "never failed to make people laugh and smile".