Woman in 'copycat suicide pact' had complained to police of harassment
Saturday 02 October 2010
Two young women who gassed themselves using toxic chemicals have died in a suspected copycat suicide pact, it emerged yesterday.
The women were found dead on Thursday morning at a rented flat in Putney, south-west London. One of the women is understood to have made a series of complaints to police and other agencies. Last night a separate investigation was launched by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Detectives believe the two women, who were described as sex workers in some reports last night, killed themselves using a toxic combination of chemicals after sealing windows and doors with tape. Police are working on the theory that it was a copycat suicide, based on those of Joanne Lee, 34, of Essex, and Stephen Lumb, 35, of West Yorkshire, whose bodies were found in a car in Braintree, Essex last week. In what police believe was one of the first chemical suicides of its type, the couple released a deadly gas in the car and left warning posters.
The Essex pair met on a suicide chatroom, sparking condemnation of sites that may encourage vulnerable people to take their lives and advise on how to do so. News of the Putney deaths was posted on one leading suicide site today, provoking a user to comment: "Good for them." Neither of the women had been named last night.
Nicola Peckett, head of communications at Samaritans, said the deaths appeared to have some parallels with last week's incident. "I would say it bears some of the characteristics [of last week's deaths] and it could possibly be a copycat suicide," she said. "It could be a complete coincidence – but what is the chance?"
Terming the copycat effect as "a worry", she added: "We do know that young people are more vulnerable to it – being young and emotionally less mature, they are more likely to do something spontaneous."
And she said that, while such deaths were not necessarily responsible for planting suicidal thoughts in the minds of others, they could "move some vulnerable people from thought to action".
Paul Kelly, a trustee at the suicide prevention charity Papyrus, said: "One of the major factors in suicide is having knowledge and access to methods. People who are young and vulnerable are at a very impressionable stage. They're likely to seek out specific ways [to commit suicide], and having access and knowledge is a great help to them."
Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
YouTube video posted by Isis militants shows 'execution of 250 Syrian soldiers'
Botched ice bucket challenge leaves man critically injured after plane drops hundreds of gallons of water
Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
Isis 'A Message in Blood' video shows beheading of Kurdish man in Iraq
Robin Williams Emmys tribute led by Billy Crystal criticised for including 'racist' joke about Muslim woman
The Rotherham child abuse scandal is a tale of apologists, misogyny and double standards
Scottish independence TV debate: Pumped-up Alex Salmond bounces back in bruising second round against Alistair Darling
Do you realise just how foolish the UK looks?
Ukip Douglas Carswell defection: Tory MP jumps ship to join Nigel Farage
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 1 Notting Hill Carnival: Woman shares selfie after being ‘punched in face for telling man to stop groping her’
- 2 Keira Knightley topless: Usually conservative actress does own take on #Freethenipple campaign for Interview Magazine
- 3 Daily Show's Jon Stewart destroys Fox News for its Ferguson coverage
- 4 When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
- 5 Terror threat level raised to severe as PM warns Isis risk could last for decades
- < Previous
- Next >