Flawed logic led to brilliant pupil's death
Thursday 03 December 1998
Dario Iacoponi, 15, a pupil at the London Oratory School which Tony Blair's two sons Euan, 14, and Nicky, 12, attend, kept a diary of his philosophical thoughts on life in the two months leading up to his death.
After weighing up the pros and cons, he decided to commit suicide and planned it meticulously. He taught himself to use his father's shotgun and worked out how to fire it with a wooden spoon. He then waited until neither of his parents was at home before carrying out the plan last month.
Dr John Burton, the West London coroner, said it was clearly a considered process and Dario "came down on the side of suicide".
The inquest heard that the teenager was a brilliant pupil who had already passed six GCSEs at A* or A grades a year early. He played the violin and piano and was hoping to study law at Yale or Harvard. But a darker side to his character emerged in his diaries which were discovered by police. They spoke of his difficulties in coping with life, although there was little, or no mention, of any specific problem such as bullying.
Dario, an only child, was found by a 20-year-old lodger at the family's home in Ealing, west London. He had a shotgun by his side.
His father, Pietro, a translator, was in Switzerland on business, and his mother, Saleni, a teacher, was at an amateur dramatics class.
Inspector Colin Nursey, who found five diaries covering the last year of Dario's life, said there was a reference in them contemplating suicide. "He would not leave a note, he was very specific about that," he said.
Neither parent was in court, but Nadia Taylor, a family friend for the past 15 years, told the inquest that Dario was "always a very sociable and very friendly person". She said: "We are all very shocked. It all came as a surprise to us that he felt this way."
But Dr Burton said he could see no other conclusion than that Dario had taken his own life. "He has made it clear that he did so. That is the only verdict that I can return.
"He was quite stoical about it. He did not fear death. He decided on balance that life is not good and points out that the mathematics he has used are indisputable and that is his last entry. It was a considered process."
Dario's headmaster, John McIntosh, has said he was baffled and the school was shocked.
- 1 Tidal launch: The most pretentious lines from Alicia Keys' valedictory speech
- 2 Trevor Noah: Jon Stewart's replacement faces online criticism over 'anti-Semitic' tweets
- 3 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 4 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Syrian child photographed 'surrendering to camera because she thought it was a gun'
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Revealed: Putin's army of pro-Kremlin bloggers
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...
£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Executive Assistant is required to join a l...
£45000 - £50000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...