Hanging tragedy of teen bullied over her weight

Tragic: Harriet Walsh was found hanging at home
Tragic: Harriet Walsh was found hanging at home

A teenager who was bullied over her weight killed herself after feeling “second best”, an inquest heard.

Animal care student Harriet Walsh, 17, was found dead at home on April 17 after her boyfriend chose to visit his friends instead of her.

Her mother told a coroner the Myerscough College student was a “troubled girl” who had issues with self-esteem.

Giving evidence at Blackburn Coroners’ Court, Claire Robinson said she found her daughter hanging at their family home in Belmont.

Mrs Robinson said: “Body image was a big thing for Harriet. People would say she was fat and ugly. It probably stemmed from name-calling at school but you have to look at TV and magazine images as well.”

The inquest heard how Harriet began a relationship with boyfriend Carl Cunliffe at the end of 2014, but they continually broke up and got back together in the seven months they spent together.

Body image was a big thing for Harriet. People would say she was fat and ugly.

Mum Claire Robinson

He told the court: “I went round and spent every weekend with her but then I went to see a couple of friends before I went to see her. She said she felt second best with me and it got to the point where she said, ‘Don’t speak to me’.”

Mrs Robinson told the inquest how she had been out with her daughter and family friends and struggled to get hold of Harriet while on her way home around 11pm.

She said: “I got no reply and was putting question marks and ringing her. When I got home I found the back door bolted from the inside.”

She went inside and found her daughter’s body.

Emergency services were called and she was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead later that night despite attempts to resuscitate her. The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.