16-year-old hangs herself after suicide helpline she contacted revealed her address, personal details to police: 'She felt betrayed'

Jesse Walker had called ChildLine to share her suicidal thoughts and, when she abruptly hung up, the suicide helpline worker asked the police to check on her at her home

16-year-old hangs herself after suicide helpline she contacted revealed her address, personal details to police: 'She felt betrayed'
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A 16-year-old British girl killed herself after she was “betrayed by ChildLine” when they passed her confidential details to police.

When Jesse Walker was having suicidal thoughts, she contacted the counseling charity service via a live chat service from her bedroom to confess her feelings.

The only personal details about the teenager that the chat operator knew at the time were that her name was Jesse and the family home was in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, according to an inquest hearing, the Sun said. 

Jesse chose to end the chat with ChildLine after just a short while, which prompted the suicide helpline worker to get concerned about the teen's wellbeing.

As a result, he contacted the National Crime Agency (NCA) and shared with them the confidential details about Jesse, including the IP address of her computer, requesting them to trace it in order to pinpoint her exact location and then pay her a visit. 

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The NCA followed through and made a welfare check at the teen's home at 1:30 a.m. when she was sleeping. After making sure that the teen was in no immediate danger of harming herself, the officer left. 

The next morning, when Jesse woke up to find that the law enforcement agents paid her house a visit the night before after ChildLine shared her personal details with them, she felt "betrayed." 

"Jess was so angry that her confidence had been breached and the police had been around. She said she felt betrayed by ChildLine. She said she was tired and went back to sleep. She did not go to college that morning," Jesse's mother, Heather, said at the hearing. 

The teen's mother left the house and when she returned in the evening, she found her daughter hanging. The paramedics were called but they were unable to revive her. Jesse was pronounced dead the same day. 

Coroner Jonathan Heath said that Jesse wrote suicide notes before taking her own life.

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Her mother said that her daughter was a "beautiful soul" and that she had no idea that she was having suicidal thoughts. She also blamed ChildLine for a “catalog of errors” when the agency was supposed to be supporting her.

“This is terribly sad and our thoughts are with Jesse’s family. However, we cannot comment on individual cases," An NSPCC spokesman, which runs ChildLine, said.

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