Art student, 18, battling mental illness took alcohol and drugs then hanged herself after 1am text row with ex-boyfriend when he didn’t invite her on a trip to Brighton — (The Daily Mail)

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The Daily Mail

  • Isabella Finnigan, 18, upset at not being invited to Brighton by Matthew Leeves
  • Couple had split up after a few months and she had struggled with depression
  • On May 30 2015 she was found hanged after she made voicemail suicide threat
  • Art student was discovered in her room at Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Isabella had been drinking and took cocaine and cannabis before her death

A university student who struggled with depression and the death of a close friend hanged herself in halls after a 1am text argument with her ex-boyfriend, an inquest has heard.

First year Isabella Finnigan, 18, had been upset at not being invited for a trip to Brighton with Matthew Leeves and began repeatedly messaging him and ringing his phone.

Mr Leeves switched off his mobile on May 29 2015 but the following day picked up a voicemail from Miss Finnigan saying she was going to kill herself.

The ‘talented and beautiful’ art student was found hanged in her room at Manchester Metropolitan University with tests showing she had traces of alcohol, cocaine and cannabis in her system.

Matthew Leeves, who was with her for a few months, said: ‘There were a few times where Isabella would threaten to kill herself if I didn’t come and meet her. I couldn’t really deal with the relationship’.

‘On the night out on May 29 she seemed pretty upbeat and it seemed like we could be friends. I discussed plans about going to Brighton and Isabella wanted to come and I suggested it might not be the best idea but she walked off – she was pretty upset.

‘I was concerned but it happened so much I didn’t know what to expect and I didn’t realise the severity. About 1am she began to text and ring me about 30 times so I switched my phone off. I had a voicemail saying she wanted to kill herself but I didn’t pick this up until the next day’.

An inquest heard in the months before her death on May 30 2015, Isabella’s parents had wanted to discuss her mental condition with her doctor but could not due to patient confidentiality.

The Manchester hearing was told Isabella, from Birmingham, had been studying an Art foundation course and was described as ‘passionate, talented and beautiful’ by her family and friends.

But she had been battling depression and had been prescribed anti-depressants and had been seeing a counsellor.

During this time she was socialising with friends and partying a lot and we were concerned about her mixing the prescription drugs and drinking alcohol. When she was about to begin university she seemed more positive and really was looking forward to a new start – but by Easter Isabella was slipping behind with her studies. She told me she was struggling mentally and I was worried that she was going out too much’.

The hearing was told in the weeks before her death Isabella was admitted to hospital after self-harming.

Her mother on the day before she died: ‘She was very upbeat and happy and we had quite a long conversation and she said she felt like she had turned a corner’.

Isabella’s father, Martyn Finnigan, a company finance director who was separated from Miss Yap said: ‘I was aware Isabella had been unhappy and had been to see the GP. I made a phone call to the doctors but was told it wasn’t possible because of patient confidentiality.

‘She had a doctor’s appointment the next day as a follow up from her hospital admission and I asked her if she wanted me to come but she didn’t.

‘I collected her after the appointment and was driving her back to Birmingham for a funeral. She was pretty down beat and didn’t want to talk. The conversation went downhill and she became emotional and mentioned taking her own life’.

Isabella’s friend from university, Dylan Appleby was with her on the night before she died: ‘A group of us went to Joshua Brookes night club in Manchester and Isabella felt a bit sad and left on her own. She said she had had enough and wasn’t very happy and we tried to calm her down.

‘We returned to our halls about 7am on May 30 and I tried to contact her to see if she was okay and later found out what had happened.’

Isabella had been drinking and taken  cocaine and cannabis before she died.

Dr Abigail Rathbone one of three GPs who saw Isabella said she had ‘fleeting thoughts daily of harming herself’ and prescribed the lowest dose of Fluoxetine and advised her to refer herself to the Birmingham Healthy Minds service.

She added: ‘I would have been very much for involving parents and I would have advised her to discuss her symptoms with her parents and bring them to future consultations. would not have been able to speak to her parents because of confidentiality.

‘On a risk assessment she scored 15 out of 27 which is at the lower end of the ‘moderately severe’ category. If I felt there were other services I could have referred her to at that time I would have.’

Recording a conclusion of suicide coroner Zak Golombeck said: ‘Isabella was described as passionate, talented and beautiful and it is clear her death has left a big void in people’s lives.

‘She was strong, well-articulated and intelligent and her death has highlighted many things – one of those things is that mental health amongst young people is very real. No blame will be passed on individuals and there is no blame on part of the GPs.

‘At university she was loved by lots of people and made lots of friends. But one friend said after Christmas 2014, her mental health was poor – one day she would be happy, the next day she would seclude herself. A relationship broke down and she struggled with this.

‘In 2015, she self-harmed with broken glass and and she referred to a charity for young people with mental health issues. She went out with her friends and had been drinking and taking drugs, including cocaine and cannabis. Her ex-boyfriend had been discussing a trip to Brighton but she had not been invited, and a text message from her to Matt made him annoyed.

‘At the time he thought she was doing it for attention. She was with her friends, when she told them she was going to kill herself, but they didn’t think she would. She went back to her room, and was found hanged. She was not in control at the time of her death.’