Announced online before father knew
By MidsomerNorton People | Thursday, September 02, 2010, 11:00
A grieving mother from Westfield has spoken of her anger and distress after the details of her son’s death were posted on social networking site Facebook – before she had the chance to give the boy’s father the tragic news.
Louise Green’s 21-year-old son, Alex, hanged himself at the garage where he worked on Westfield Industrial Estate on February 19 and within hours of his death details of the tragedy had appeared on the internet.
Mrs Green described the posting, which was made just a few hours after she had discovered her son’s body, as “just so awful” and appealed to other young people to think about the impact it could have on a bereaved family before making similar posts.
She said: “Words can not describe how devastated I felt knowing that the first many people would have heard Alex’s death was from reading about it on a public post.”
Louise Green was speaking after the inquest of her son which was held this week.
The Coroners Court at Flax Bourton heard that leading up to his death the mechanic had been suffering from anxiety and panic attacks and had on previous occasions taken an overdose of pills, cut himself and set fire to his clothes.
Mr Green’s problems were described as being worse when he was drinking and evidence confirmed that he had been drinking shortly before his death.
In a statement made by Mrs Green, she said she had been awoken by a phone call from her daughter telling her Mr Green’s ex-girlfriend, Sophie Hannah, had contacted her to say Alex was “up to his old tricks again” and he had sent a text message saying to tell his mum and sister he loved them and to sell his van to pay off his debts, as he did not want her to bear the burden of them.
Unable to contact her son, Mrs Green headed to his workplace, where he often went late at night to work when he was feeling down, while Miss Hannah drove around Midsomer Norton trying to find him. It was at the garage that Mrs Green saw his van and a light on inside and when she went inside she found her dead son.
Coroner Anthony Woodburn said a spiral effect had been created when efforts to resurrect his relationship with Miss Hannah were unsuccessful and he described Alex Green as being “in a disturbed state of mind” at the time of his suicide.
Mr Woodburn said it was noteworthy that despite receiving medical treatment from his GP, for mental health problems it appeared that observations by the doctor relating to an improvement in mental state contradicted evidence given by Mrs Green and Miss Hannah. Mr Woodburn suggested that Mr Green may have misled the doctor in to believing he was feeling better than he truly was.