11-year-old girl left suicide note with friend and sent text message to mom before jumping off bridge
The 11-year-old pupil, Ursula Keough, was described as 'clever but a little bit dark' and died from a head injury as a result of falling from a height, a coroner ruled
Eleven-year-old Ursula Keough searched 'suicide' on Instagram before killing herself in Halifax, West Yorks, according to a Daily Star report.
Her body was discovered near the town's North Bridge on January 22 this year and she was found to have succumbed to head injuries from the fall. According to a police statement, there were no witnesses during the tragic incident. However, her phone and handbag found near the bridge's edge alerted members of the public. About three hours later, her body was found a mile downstream.
David, her father, revealed during a devastating statement to the inquest at Bradford Coroner's court that his daughter had started to self-harm.
Acclaimed author Nicky Harlow, Ursula's mother, recalled that her daughter was once "fascinated" when she was searching "suicide" on the internet while walking across the bridge with her family. According to her, she received a text from the 11-year-old before she went missing that read: "I love you, so sorry."
Harlow said: "Her hormones were all over the place. She was spending more and more time in her bedroom. She didn't want to see her dad anymore. I'm not sure what had changed. I was advised that Ursula had been accessing suicide pages on Instagram. Her phone was then confiscated, which generated tension between us. In November we noticed marks on her arms. I have since thought about things she said. She felt like her friends were in a bubble of childhood and she was not. Ursula seemed older than her years, very deep and sensitive."
Ursula had boarded the bus to the bridge with a friend who she gave a sealed envelope that read: "Do not open until 6 pm". Her suicide note was inside.
In the months before her daughter died, Harlow told how she had sought help from Ursula's GP surgery as well as her school for her situation. However, she was sent from "pillar to post" and was left feeling "fobbed off", the Bradford Coroner's Court heard. Last year in November and December, Harlow had made two calls to GPs about her daughter, but was never given a face-to-face appointment.
Addressing Dr. Steven Cleasby from Springhall Medical Practice in Halifax, Coroner Martin Fleming said: "You're saying go to the school and the school is saying go to the GP. In that scenario, people can fall through the net. We've got communication difficulties that need to be ironed out." But the doctor said the surgery has changed its protocol since Ursula's death and will now offer face-to-face appointments as soon as similar reports are received, the coroner heard.
It was found that young Ursula had died from a head injury as a result of falling from a height, according to a post-mortem examination. On her forearms, forensic experts found 10 scars from self-harming.
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