Flackwell Heath student hanged himself
11:13am Thursday 10th September 2009
A POPULAR student from Flackwell Heath hanged himself after the break-up with his girlfriend left him severely depressed, an inquest heard.
Alexander A'Court killed himself in the garage of his family home The Beeches, Treadaway Road, on May 25.
Mr A'Court was a pupil at John Hampden Grammar School before going to the University of Birmingham to study Geography.
More than 500 friends have joined a Facebook group dedicated to him, which says “he was a great friend and will be missed by all.”
The identity of Mr A'Court's ex-girlfriend was not revealed. The inquest was shown a “suicide letter” which Mr A'Court had sent to her, but this it was not read out.
The 20-year-old had been unfaithful to the girlfriend, who ended their relationship on March 15, coroner Richard Hulett told the inquest at Amersham Law Courts yesterday.
His father Stephen A'Court had to cut his son down from the roof of the garage. He told the inquest: “Alex was a long way from his problems in Birmingham, but in this electronic age of Facebook and mobile phones he was never able to separate himself from those problems.”
Mobile phone records show that Mr A'Court telephoned his ex-girlfriend at 1.03pm. It was estimated that he died soon after this.
The inquest heard that Mr A'Court had seemed “positive” that morning and was planning a holiday before sharing some “light-hearted banter” with his brother Sam at around 12.45pm.
Stephen A'Court said he became concerned about his son's mental health after the break-up of his relationship and encouraged him to seek medical help.
A doctor in Birmingham prescribed Mr A'Court with anti-depressants on April 27, which he had been taking since April. He did not have a history of mental health problems.
Mr A'Court was referred to a senior professor on May 14 but was diagnosed as a “low suicide risk”.
Mr Hulett told the inquest: “The relationship became the be all and end all for Alex. He rapidly deteriorated into depression and severe mood swings.
"It is dreadful and tragic that a 20-year-old with such obvious prospects has chosen to take his life quite suddenly.”
He found that Mr A'Court had taken his own life.
Ashleigh Barton from London wrote on the Facebook page: “You were such a lovely guy and so loved by all. I don't think it will ever sink in and I'll never get my head around why. I just hope you're happier now than you were when you were still here.”
Tom Bowers, who also went to John Hampden Grammar, wrote: “I'll never forget the way you went out of your way to help me fit in when I first started at Tesco, it meant so much and always will. You were always such a laugh and brilliant at putting a smile on anyone's face.”