Depressed journalism student sobbed and hanged himself after losing iPhone during a drunken night out
A university student who lost his cellphone was found hanged in his room just hours after "sobbing uncontrollably" about the loss to his friends.
Archie Day, a 20-year-old journalism student and fervent video blogger, was comforted by eight of his friends after he lost his Apple iPhone during a night out in Manchester on October 5 last year, Daily Mail reports.
Archie, who hails from Bishop's Stortford, had told his parents earlier that he had been feeling much better of late despite his long battle with depression. However, a day after going out with his friends for a drunken party and losing his beloved phone, Archie took his own life at Peel Park Halls of Residence at Salford University in Greater Manchester.
Archie's flatmate, Kane Markham, told Bolton Coroner's Court that Archie had not shown any signs he would end his life right after the night out at "Venue" in Manchester. "I knew that he suffered from depression, but I didn't realize how bad it was as he was so outgoing," he said.
"His Instagram page said 'Should have died already' and he was into musicians who rapped about depression — but I think he got comfort from those artistes. He was a loud and charismatic character and he always seemed to be a bit of a ringleader. That night he had least four drinks of Stella there and was also sipping out of other people's drinks."
Kane continued, "He did seem to talk to anyone and at 2.30 am he sent a message to our WhatsApp group asking where we were and, as a joke, we said that we went home. We booked a taxi and got in to leave and when we got to it, we noticed that Archie wasn't there.
"I tried to call Archie but there was no answer but as we got back, we spoke to another student who was talking about Archie and he said that he [Archie] was in his room and he had been mugged. There was a security guard in the room with Archie and [he] was sobbing uncontrollably."
The security guard at Peel Park, Mohammed Zafar, claimed to hear Archie crying from the other side of the door when he was called up. Authorities were able to trace the device's last location update around 220 miles away in Romford, Essex. However, it was never recovered.
However, the victim's family believes he did not intend to kill himself but it was the alcohol that blurred his ability to think "rationally". Tests confirmed that Archie had 225 mg of alcohol per 100 ml of blood in his system, way above the driving limit of 80 mg. Due to no CCTV evidence from the club, the halls, or witnesses on the streets, police are yet to establish if the 20-year-old student was robbed.
Police Coroners Officer Alison Parks said, "We looked at the CCTV of the Venue nightclub and he can be seen in the smoking area at 2:36 am and he is holding his mobile phone at that time. Then, he was seen at 2:41 am leaving with no mobile phone in his hand. I think it was in this period that his phone went missing.
"At 3:23 am on October 5, he is seen on the university CCTV on his own coming into the courtyard at Peel Park where he bumped into some other students. He was stumbling and appears to be unstable on his feet. The other students were talking to him outside in the courtyard and then they escorted him inside. I think it was shortly after this that security was alerted."
Heather Maxwell, his mother, said, "He was anxious about joining the university, but he had made good friends and his flatmates were lovely. I last spoke to him on October 4 and he seemed in good spirits. He told me he was going to a comedy club with flatmates. We ended the call as we always did, by telling each other that we love each other. I did not hear from him again. He was a loving son who had a very kind heart and a had a larger than life personality. The family was very proud of him."
Father Kenneth Day said, "The last time I spoke to him was on October 4 and he explained how happy he was with the university. I don't think Archie would have taken his own life and I wonder if drink may have influenced this."
Assistant Coroner Rachel Galloway recorded a narrative conclusion, saying, "I accept he was extremely upset about losing his phone. The blood alcohol level was high, and, in my view, that could have played a role in his decision. I have to consider the level of alcohol; how upset he was and that he wasn't thinking rationally at the time."