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The Burton Mail
Published: 02/02/2011 09:00 – Updated: 01/02/2011 14:26
By Adrian Jenkins
A TEENAGER fought to save her boyfriend’s life after finding him hanged by a belt or strap attached to a nail on a wall in his flat, an inquest has heard.
Jessica Warren, 17, used scissors to cut the ligature around Jason Ringling’s neck before attempting mouth-to-mouth resuscitation at his Uttoxeter flat.
She then dialled 999 and followed instructions from the emergency services but was unable to save the 22-year-old, who worked as a food processor at Kerry Foods, in Burton.
Detective Sergeant Chris Douglas, based at Burton CID, told South Staffordshire Coroner’s Court that Mr Ringling died at his Park Street flat in Uttoxeter, the door to which was closed but unlocked.
Miss Warren told police that in the hours before she arranged to meet Mr Ringling at his home, she assumed he was still hung over after he sent her a text saying he was ‘wrecked’, the officer said.
DS Douglas told the court, sitting at Burton Town Hall, that the victim later sent Miss Warren another message which read: “You can’t help me. I feel like ****. I feel like walking off a bridge.” The officer said an analysis of Mr Ringling’s phone showed that on the day he died he had been upset about the failure of his relationship with ex-girlfriend Felicity Ward.
“The overriding theme is that he’s troubled about the break-up with her,” said DS Douglas, adding that Mr Ringling’s final text to her on the day he died, September 18 last year, read ‘I’m so, so sorry’.
In a report read to the inquest, Dr Simon Jones, of Northgate Surgery in Church Street, Uttoxeter, said Mr Ringling went to the surgery three days before he died complaining of feeling distressed because of the break-up of the relationship with his former girlfriend.
Mr Ringling said he felt low, was reluctant to go to work or start on a welding course, and was tearful, plagued by poor sleep and lack of appetite.
However, he denied thoughts of self-harm and was prescribed an anti-depressant, signed off work for two weeks and told to return to the surgery for a review in a fortnight.
Independent consultant pathologist Dr Peter Acland told the inquest that Mr Ringling died because of a lack of oxygen to the brain caused by hanging.
There was no evidence of assault, restraint or natural disease and toxicological tests did not indicate drug abuse. The inquest also heard there was no evidence of foul play.
Coroner Andrew Haigh said Mr Ringling killed himself by hanging, but drew back from recording a verdict of suicide, saying it was possible he had hoped to be saved.