Bullied autistic student, 17, recorded 5-minute goodbye video before killing himself by jumping in front of oncoming train
17-year-old Joel Langford was worried about the future after leaving Great Marlow School in Buckinghamshire despite scoring top grades in his GCSE exams.
A child genius who committed suicide by standing in front of an oncoming train reportedly made a five-minute "suicide" video for his family before ending his life.
Joel Langford was worried about the future after leaving Great Marlow School in Buckinghamshire despite scoring top grades in his GCSE exams, Daily Mail reports. The 17-year-old was upset when he was turned down for a job at Costa Coffee and reportedly felt "lonely" after being bullied by his fellow classmates.
According to Joel's mother, pupils at the school called him "weird", "loser", and a "retard".
The embattled teen recorded a video on his mobile phone on March 18, in which is explained to his family why he decided to commit suicide.
An inquest into his death in Beaconsfield heard from Susan Langford how her son was a "challenging child" obsessed with personal hygiene and that he felt lonely after he close friends moved to new schools or to different countries altogether.
Despite being diagnosed with a severe case of dyslexia from a young age, Joel had secured top grades for his GCSE's in science and math. However, he "started to feel the pressure" after starting A-levels in maths, physics, and chemistry, his mother said.
According to Langford, her high-functioning autistic son's condition took a turn for the worse after he started A-levels and "it dawned on him that he had an uncertain future."
"He has faced a lot of rejection in his life, namely at Costa which let him go after a trial shift, for not multi-tasking and a local explorer group - where the most of his social interaction came from - forcing him out for his behavior, which I challenged," the grieving mother told the inquest.
"He did not like change and he had some worries about what was coming after sixth form," she continued. "He had become obsessed about hygiene, unable to wear certain clothes if he felt they would get dirty. Ironically, on the day of his death, we thought that the problem was over as he wore a jumper he had refused to wear before. However, we later found out that he had taken it off and left it on a nearby gate before the accident."
A senior mental health practitioner told the court how Joel's obsession with cleanliness often made him feel "unpleasant, dry and clammy."
"He appeared angry and frustrated when talking about warts and verrucas," she said. "He said he had caught warts off his mother who walked around the house barefoot," the expert explained. "He avoided sitting on the sofa and refrained from touching anyone after he had had his shower and his mother had found him sleeping on the floor of his bedroom because he said his bed did not feel clean."
Joel phoned a friend around 8:25 am on the fateful morning, and told her "he did not want to continue living and he wanted her to live a happy life."
That said, the only witness to the tragedy was loco pilot Richard Woodley, who was working the early morning shift on the single track journey from Marlow to Bourne End at the time he spotted Joel.
"At around 9.10am we were traveling at 40mph. As the crossing came into sight I saw a male run out from the left-hand side from the trees," Woodley told the inquest.
"I did not see anyone else with him. I thought he was just running across the crossing as many people do, but I put on the emergency brake which cannot be undone until the train has completely stopped," he said. "I looked away as the train ran over the male. This was clearly an intentional act."
"The medical cause of death was a single trauma injury by train collision," senior coroner Crispin Giles Butler said, recording a conclusion of suicide.
"Joel has explained that it was what he wanted to do and all the evidence corroborates that. He died instantly and there was never any life-saving opportunity. There is a significant amount of evidence that confirms Joel's intentions," he concluded.
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