14-year-old schoolboy hangs himself after being unable to cope with his dog's death

14-year-old schoolboy hangs himself after being unable to cope with his dog's death
Seb Morris was unable to cope with the death of his dog (Source: Getty Images)

Coping with the loss of a pet can sometimes cause people to make tragic decisions like attempting suicide or trying to harm oneself or others. Children, especially are known to feel the loss deeply. In a tragic story that comes from Taunton, a schoolboy and an avid boxer took his own life a week after his pet down had to be put down. He was convinced that something could have been done to save his pet and that she had been taken away from him too soon.

Seb Morris, who was an aspiring boxer, dreamt of becoming a fighter but he committed suicide after being unable to bear the grief of his dog's passing, an inquest at the Somerset Coroner's office heard on Wednesday, the Daily Mail reported.

His mother, Claire Morris, revealed in a statement about how the family dog Tilly was put to sleep in November 2017. Ms. Morris said that they had the pet since Seb was 4 years old and its death had struck the boy hard. The pet dog Tilly was buried in the backyard of the family home in Taunton, Somerset and Seb spent an hour next to the grave listening to music on his headphones. According to his mother, Seb took off from school for 'two days' and was much better when he slept with Tilly's blanket. Seb was disturbed about how Tilly went too soon and did 'not have the chance to get any better'. A week later, a miserable Seb took his own life.


The evening before his suicide, according to his mother, he was fine and was playing with Claire's partner Paul Few before he went to the bed, stated the report. The next morning Claire took her two daughters to a party and Seb was in his pajamas in his bed using his iPad. Later when she returned and went to check on Seb, he was found hanging. Claire immediately tried CPR and her partner called the ambulance.

Claire said she was close to her son and months before his death, in March 2017, he had consumed an overdose of paracetamol twice and refused to take counseling at the school. Claire reportedly called Creech Medical Centre for help, but she received no response from them. She then went into the GP surgery in mid-April in tears where she was told to take Seb to the hospital if she felt the need. 

Dr Eamon Barthakur, at Creech Medical Centre, said they were not aware of Seb having any mental health issues until April 10, when it was reported to him that Claire had attempted to call the surgery for help. Even before his death in November Claire said the boy had not displayed any signs of mental trauma and so she had no reason for concern.


Seb was a 'well-liked child with a good circle of friends' and was training very hard to become a boxer. Seb's father Paul said, "We are devastated. Words cannot describe our feelings. Seb was so caring and helpful.

"He was popular and had a lot of friends. He was intelligent and would have gone a long way.  He started boxing 18 months before and aimed to be a professional boxer. He used to go running in the morning and went to boxing and training four times a week - he was super fit.

"Seb enjoyed socializing with his mates at the weekend. If he went out in the evening he'd never let a girl walk home alone. He was a happy boy who'd have a laugh and enjoyed play fighting with me. He was a decent 14-year-old."

The postmortem report cleared that the death was from hanging. Somerset senior coroner Tony Williams said: "There is no great background of angst or ongoing problems bearing down on him." But he recorded a narrative conclusion saying: "He suspended himself but his intentions at that time were not clear. He was 14."


Williams said he could not put himself in the teenager's shoes to find out “what the outcome might be from his actions”.

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