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The Daily Mail
By JAMES DUNN FOR MAILONLINE
PUBLISHED: 08:09 EST, 6 April 2017 | UPDATED: 11:11 EST, 10 April 2017
Ceri Sheehan went paintballing with friend the day before his death.
Told parents ‘you don’t understand’ as he argued against giving up electronics.
Kept phone and sent a friend worrying messages, who then messaged his father.
His father came home to find all the lights on and Ceri hanged in the garden.
Ceri Sheehan, 15, took his own life after arguing with his parents about them confiscating his iPad.
A talented 15-year-old photographer took his own life the night that his parents confiscated his electronic devices to stop him going to bed late, an inquest heard.
Ceri Sheehan had argued that he needed to keep his iPad but gave it up before going to bed, something his father Michael Sheehan said was ‘not unusual’.
But Mr Sheehan found his son dead in their garden the next day after receiving a message from one of his friends, who was worried about him.
Ceri had kept hold of his phone and told his friend that he ‘had something to finish’ before going out to the garden, where he hanged himself.
Mr Sheehan, a project manager, told an inquest that he had not noticed anything unusual about him on June 11, last year, the day before he found his body.
‘I took Ceri and a friend to an afternoon session of paintball,’ he said.
‘When I picked them up they both seemed in good spirits. I asked Ceri if he wanted to go out to eat but he said he’d prefer to stay in. He spent most of the evening in his bedroom.’
His father confiscated his electronics that night because he and Ceri’s mother, Rhian Roberts, agreed it was a good method to stop him from going to bed late.
‘Ceri argued that he should be allowed to keep his iPad,’ Mr Sheehan said.
‘This was not unusual and he did give it up. I remember he said “oh you don’t understand” but I didn’t think anything of it at the time.’
The next day Mr Sheehan went downstairs at around 6am to find all the lights were on but did not find this unusual.
He assumed his son had gone out to take photographs as he had mentioned he might leave early.
‘I went to his bedroom to see if he had already left and his bed was empty so I assumed he had gone,’ he said.
He then received a text from the friend Ceri had been paintballing with the day before, stating he was worried about him.
‘I started to search the house and noted his camera was lying on the floor,’ he said.
‘I went outside and saw Ceri hanging…halfway down the garden.’
Mr Sheehan rushed to the front of the house to wait for an ambulance to arrive at the home in St Albans, Hertfordshire, but it soon became clear Ceri was already dead.
The coroner heard that a post-mortem examination found the cause of Ceri’s death was asphyxia.
Police officers examined Ceri’s computer and phone and discovered he had been messaging his friend with his phone the evening before he was found dead.
Ceri had sent a message to Ben stating he ‘had to finish something’ which worried him.
Ceri’s father found him dead in the garden of their home in a tree-lined street in St Slbans
Ben said: ‘Ceri stopped responding to my messages. I sent a text message to Ceri’s dad asking him to check on Ceri.’
The inquest in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, heard that the teenager had been suffering from depression and had attempted suicide with an overdose of pills a year earlier.
He was in regular contact with a psychiatrist, a Dr Giovoli, who had diagnosed him with depression, ADHD, and Asperger’s Syndrome.
In his conclusions, Hertfordshire Coroner Geoffrey Sullivan said: ‘It seemed he struggled with some behavioural problems for a number of years but matters came to a head in 2015 and he began to see a psychiatrist.
‘I can only conclude Ceri did sadly voluntarily do this act which brought about the end of his life.’
I remember he said “oh you don’t understand” but I didn’t think anything of it at the time
The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.
The schoolboy had a passion for photography and had his pictures featured in local newspapers and his own website where he sold images of aircraft.
In a statement, Ceri’s parents said: ‘We are devastated by the death of our son and only child Ceri. It was an impulsive act that we are trying to understand but will never come to terms with.
‘Ceri was four months short of his 16th birthday when he tragically took his own life. He was a pupil at St Columba’s College, St Albans and we are grateful to school staff for understanding and supporting his condition.
‘Ceri was an entrepreneurial teenager with a knack for turning his hobby for photography into an embryonic business. It is tragic that a bright, kind and caring boy, with so much potential, was unable to see a future for himself.’
The family asked for charity PAPYRUS Prevention of Young Suicide’s phone number 0800 068 4141 to be featured in any report about his death.