Coroner rules that 13-year-old school pupil’s death was misadventure

A “fantastic pupil” who “would light up a space” was found dead in her bedroom, an inquest has heard.

Ruthin Coroner's Court : Google Street View
Ruthin Coroner's Court : Google Street View

Coroner John Gittins at Ruthin, North Wales, said that while 13-year-old schoolgirl Lucia Holt had anxieties, “my heart tells me what she did at that time wasn’t done with the intention of bringing her life to an end.”

The tragedy happened on March 24, 2020, the day after the first UK-wide Covid lockdown was announced.

The coroner recorded a conclusion of misadventure during a hearing into the death of the Shrewsbury High School pupil, who was found hanged.

Mr Gittins told her parents Mark and Louise, of Whitewell, near Whitchurch: “I know I can never make things better.

“What I do know is even in the 13 years you had your daughter you were blessed with an individual who had so much in her life that was a positive, whether with her friends, school or family or drama.”

He added: “There was no more that could have been done in the circumstances.”

During the hearing, Jo Sharrock, head of school at Shrewsbury High School, paid tribute to Lucia.

She said: “She was a fantastic pupil, engaging and always had something interesting to say.

“She was very articulate and bright.

“She was very open about her passions and very flamboyant, she would light up a space.”

She added that the tragedy came “completely under the radar, a deep shock and surprising.”

Mrs Holt said her daughter “excelled” at school and was “extremely talented, gentle and kind” with a drama scholarship.

The inquest heard Lucia loved to have fun but took her education very seriously.

Her mum said Lucia’s anxiety increased and she would be sick in the morning before attending school.

The teen had sessions with a child psychiatrist and a counsellor and was prescribed anti-depressants.

Dr Louise Atkin, the psychiatrist, said Lucia had classic symptoms of panic attacks but told her she had no suicidal thoughts.

School nurse Susan Livesey said Lucia would talk to her and had “good and bad days.”

Mr Gittins said: “This is extremely difficult in many ways because the obvious conclusion for me to reach in relation to Lucia’s death is she took her own life.”

But he added, while there were some challenges there was “never suicidal ideation, let alone a plan.”

If you have been affected by this article, you can call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit Samaritans.org.

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