Bridgend teenager found hanging was upset at friend's death

A 17-year-old girl found hanging from a banister at home by a dressing-gown cord knew a friend who had hanged himself, an inquest heard today.

Natasha Randall was one of 23 young people in or from the county of Bridgend, south Wales, suspected of killing themselves since January last year.

Police seized a computer and mobile phone belonging to Natasha following her death on 17 January, to search for evidence of a reason why she would hang herself.

There was speculation at the time about the visiting of suicide websites, but officers said no evidence was found.

A statement from Natasha's father, Kelvin Randall, with whom she lived at Blaengarw Road, was read to the court.

In it, Mr Randall said his daughter had previously been upset about a male friend who hanged himself.

He said that when he had asked her about it, "she said she was OK but started crying. She had been to the funeral, but didn't say anything about it".

But Mr Randall said that before her death Natasha had been "cheerful and her usual self".

He said he had returned home from work with his partner at 5.45pm and found his daughter hanging in the stairwell straight ahead of him.

He said he undid the belt which had been tied around a banister and took his daughter into the living room where he tried unsuccessfully to resuscitate her.

Natasha's boyfriend, Phillip Underhill, told the inquest she had stayed at his home the previous night and that she was "normal" when he dropped her home on the morning of her death.

Detective Constable Matthew Lewis told the inquest Natasha's friends and family had also been interviewed but there was no apparent reason for her wanting to take her own life.

Bridgend coroner Phillip Walters, who today retired from the job, said: "There doesn't appear to be any apparent reason for this young lady's death. It's difficult to find out what her intention was."

He recorded a narrative verdict that Natasha took her own life.

The cause of death was asphyxia due to a ligature around her neck.