Bullies did not drive Jessica to take her own life, inquest is told

Jessica Cobb, 15, of Abbots Langley.
Jessica Cobb, 15, of Abbots Langley.

Rumours that a teenager was driven to take her own life by bullies were quashed at an inquest into her death today.

Jessica Cobb, aged just 15, was discovered by her father Mark hanged in her bedroom on the morning of January 16.

He attempted to resuscitate the youngster, of Gable Close, Abbots Langley, and emergency crews were called but nothing could be done to save the schoolgirl.

At the inquest into Jessica’s death, Herts coroner Edward Thomas said: “Jessica’s dad was performing CPR. Everybody felt that he did everything he could. I think it is clear there is nothing further he could have done.”

Handwritten notes were found on Jessica’s bed.

During the hearing at Hatfield, Det Sgt Luke Whinnett said there was ‘no evidence at all’ of bullying and Mr Thomas said: “I didn’t find any reference of bullying. I found evidence of banter, spats but that is life.”

Before her death Jessica had seen the school nurse at St Michael’s in Garston, because of cuts on her arms and it was referred to the Herts Targeted Advice Service, which provides help and support to children and families.

The day before she died, the upset teen had spoken to the matron for around 20 minutes but by the end of their conversation she seemed much happier.

Mr Thomas said: “Everything seems to be fairly typical for her age.”

But he said young people can sometimes find it difficult to cope when things go wrong. “Sometimes when something isn’t quite right it seems much worse and they are perhaps less equipped to be able to deal with the sadness. I think it was in that context that she took her life,” said Mr Thomas.

The coroner ruled that Jessica took her own life and died from asphyxiation.

He said to her parents: “You have had a lot of intrusion, a lot of speculation and the purpose of an inquest is to end that speculation.

“I cannot begin to understand how any of us would feel if we were faced with the situation that you faced that day and still face. I can’t begin to understand how awful that is for you. Nothing I can say can take away that pain.”