Troubled teenager hanged himself
Oct 12 2010 By Rachel Moses
A TEENAGER found hanging in the grounds of a Bridgend sports club was on medication for depression, an inquest heard.
Robert Scott Jones, 17, of Cartrefle Children’s Home in Merthyr Mawr Road, Bridgend, was found dead on Monday, December 29, 2008 at Bridgend Tennis Club near Newbridge Fields.
DS Gareth Morgan, of Porthcawl CID, told the inquest Robert was the eldest son of Angela Rook and one of eight siblings, but had been in care since he was 14. He used drugs occasionally and alcohol regularly and was on medication for depression.
DS Morgan said: “In September 2008, he met a young lady, Stacey Dobbs Morgan. She described the relationship as not very serious, but Robert didn’t see it this way and was very serious about her.”
On Saturday, December 28, Robert went to bed and was checked on by a member of staff at 11.05pm.
“In the early hours of the morning, he sneaked out of the home and phoned his friend Kelly,” said DS Morgan.
“He said he and his girlfriend had broken up and he was heartbroken by what had happened. Some texts were passed between them and he stated he was going to hang himself and said he was sorry. She was unable to ring him back as she had no credit, but she didn’t take the threats as being real.”
At 10.30am the following morning, Keith Hailstone was out jogging when he saw Robert’s body hanging and called the emergency services.
Sian Morgan-Jones, a senior key worker at the home, said all external doors are locked from the inside at 11pm and residents settled in their rooms.
She described Robert as a “troubled” young person who “liked to be liked” and had friends at the home and outside. But his behaviour could become challenging if there was something he didn’t like.
“On one occasion, when staff were with him, he was quite upset and had gone to a bridge in Bridgend and said he wanted to jump off it,” said Ms Morgan-Jones. “Staff talked him down, calmed him down and brought him back to the unit.”
She said the afternoon before his death, he had been in “quite good form” and felt he had sorted things out with his mother following a dispute over Christmas. But after going to see a friend in Wildmill, he was picked up and was “quite upset”.
He had been trying to call his girlfriend, but she was away. After talking and spending time with a fellow resident, he had cheered up by bedtime.
Coroner Peter Maddox said Robert had no signs of alcohol in his system and only a small amount of cannabis, not recent. He recorded a narrative verdict that Robert hanged himself.