Teen in overdose tragedy was terrified of jail — (Birmingham Mail)

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Birmingham Mail

A teenager wanted by police overdosed on her mum’s medication because she was terrified of being sent to jail, an inquest heard.

Shannon Ashe died six days after taking a toxic mixture of amitriptyline and methadone, prescribed to her mother Sarah.

Birmingham Coroner’s Court heard the 16-year-old was scared of being sent to the same young offender institution as another girl she had fallen out with.

West Midlands Police said Shannon faced a shoplifting allegation and had absconded from Birmingham Magistrates’ Court.

She had earlier hidden from police officers who called at her home in Innsworth Drive, Castle Vale, to arrest her, the inquest heard.

Coroner Aidan Cotter said the teenager felt “boxed into a corner” when she took the medication on January 9 last year.

He added: “It’s possible she was emotional, scared and was trying to get out of the trouble she was in.”

PC Craig Rudge, who went to Heartlands Hospital with Shannon and her mum, said Ms Ashe told him her daughter was “petrified” of being sent to the same centre as the unnamed girl.

Tests revealed the teenager had taken enough amitriptyline, an antidepressant, to kill her even without the methadone.

Mr Cotter said he did not think Shannon had meant to take her own life and took the overdose out of panic.

Recording an open verdict, he said: “She thought: ‘I’ll take some tablets to stop this’, which is different to a mature person saying: ‘I’m going to kill myself and never come back’.

“She was emotionally upset and had not thought it through.

“There is no clear evidence that she intended to die.”

Speaking after the hearing, Ms Ashe said it had been a “very upsetting time for the family” and that Shannon’s death had hit her brother particularly hard.