'Fun-loving' St Albans schoolgirl hanged herself, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 18:04 21 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:33 06 May 2010

Georgia Sharman

Georgia Sharman

AN ARGUMENT with her father ended in the tragic death of a fun-loving teenager who ran upstairs to her bedroom and attempted to hang herself. An inquest into the death of 14-year old Georgia Sharman held at Hatfield Court yesterday heard about the event

AN ARGUMENT with her father ended in the tragic death of a "fun-loving" teenager who ran upstairs to her bedroom and attempted to hang herself.

An inquest into the death of 14-year old Georgia Sharman held at Hatfield Court yesterday heard about the events leading up to her death on May 1 this year.

Coroner David Pidgeon said Georgia lived with her father Lee Sharman and her stepmother Karen McMurray at Chiltern Road in St Albans. Her natural mother April Hankins lived in Watford and Georgia had also been close to her previous stepmother Mary Ryan with whom she had lived for quite a long time.

Sergeant James Twitchett said rows over Georgia not wanting to go to school had occurred in the days leading up to her death. On Monday April 27 she had wanted to take the day off but her father insisted she go in, and she took the next day off against her father's will.

On Wednesday April 29 there was a row over a letter that came to the house for Mary Ryan which Mr Sharman opened. Georgia took it to Ms Ryan's home after school and they went shopping to Tesco before Ms Ryan put her on the bus home around 6pm.

At 7pm Georgia sat next to her father on the sofa and told him he should not have opened the letter. They rowed and Georgia stormed upstairs saying she did not want to live there any more.

A little later her father went up to her room and found the door locked. He called our and when she did not answer he forced his way inside and found her hanging on the back of the door with a scarf around her neck. He and Ms McMurray tried to resuscitate her and called emergency services.

Paramedic Daniel Thornton, in written evidence, told how he arrived on the scene at 8pm and was met at the door by Mr Sharman who took him upstairs where he found Georgia lying on the floor of her bedroom with Ms McMurrray trying to resuscitate her.

He called for assistance and advanced life support techniques were used to try and bring her round. She had a pulse but was not breathing and was unresponsive.

She was taken to Luton and Dunstable Hospital but in the early hours of April 30 was transferred to the intensive care unit at St Mary's Hospital Paddington, where she was placed on life support.

But Georgia continued to be unresponsive and subsequent encephalographs showed no brain activity. Her life support equipment was switched off at 10.50pm on May 1 with the family's consent and permission was given for her organs to be donated.

Pathologist Neil Korostoff gave cause of death as hypoxic brain injury due to acute asphyxiation. No drink or drugs were found in her system.

Mr Pidgeon recorded a narrative verdict saying: "Following an argument at her home the deceased attempted to hang herself in her bedroom. Her father and his partner administered CPR."

He added that she had suffered a severe hypoxic-ischaemic brain injury secondary to asphyxiation for which continuing intensive care treatment would be futile.

Speaking before the inquest Mr Sharman said: "Georgia was my youngest daughter, she was a very popular girl with many friends. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends. I have no idea why Georgia took her own life she had everything to live for she was a fun-loving happy girl that was loved by everybody that met her."

* Georgia attempted to take her own life on the same night that a fellow pupil in her year at Sandringham School , Elliot Simms, died in St Mary's Hospital following an incident at his home the previous day.

Elliot, 15, of St Albans Road, Sandridge, was found to have died from asphyxiation, subject to confirmation at an inquest set to take place this afternoon (Thursday.)

Police did not link the two deaths and the pair were not considered to be close friends.

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