Another tragedy in Bridgend as girl kills herself

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The Independent Online

The Welsh town of Bridgend was mourning the loss of another of its young people after an 18-year-old woman became the 14th person from the area to commit suicide in the past year and the 34th since 2006.

Angeline Fuller was found hanged at her home in Commercial Street in the Nantymoel area of Bridgend by her boyfriend, named locally as Joel Williams, 21, at about 1am on Monday.

Ms Fuller is thought to have been found hanging from the banister of the house after a party the couple had thrown.

Mr Williams left a message of dedication to his partner on his MySpace page. It read: "Just a note to let you all know that at 1am Monday morning, life took away from us one of the kindest, sweet-hearted, loving people we could ever have been blessed to know. I love Angie and I always will. I love you baby. Xxx."

Yesterday flowers were laid outside the three-bedroom home the couple had lived in for five months. Neighbours spoke of a "well-spoken", "well-mannered" and "lovely girl".

A friend of the couple, Sarah Shaw, 32, told a local news agency that the couple had met two years ago when Ms Fuller moved to Bridgend from Shrewsbury. She added that she had tried to commit suicide twice in the past and that Mr Williams had been treated for depression. Of her friend's death, Ms Shaw added: "Joel found the bedroom door was locked and had to kick his way out only to find Angie dead on the landing.

"We are all so shocked because they had just got engaged and the future was looking good. They could be very lovey-dovey at times but they had a very volatile relationship where they could argue violently with each other."

A spokesman for South Wales Police confirmed the death and added: "There are no suspicious circumstances and an investigation is being carried out on behalf of the coroner. The death is not linked to other recent sudden deaths in the area."

The coroner's officer for the area, Mark Adams, said that an inquest into the death of Ms Fuller would be opened on Friday.

Her death comes just weeks after that of 17-year-old Natasha Randall, and follows the cases of 11 other young people in Bridgend county who have killed themselves since January 2007: Dale Crole, 18; David Dilling, 19; Thomas Davies, 20; Zachary Barnes, 17; Gareth Morgan, 27; James Knight, 26; Jason Williams, 21; Andrew O'Neill, 19; Leigh Jenkins, 22; Liam Clarke, 20; and Alan Price, 21.

Of those 12, seven were linked in some way, although they did not all know each other personally. They were also all thought to have used the social networking website Bebo – leading to fears their deaths were linked to an internet suicide pact.

A task force has already been set up to tackle the spiralling rate of suicide in the area and some schools in Bridgend have offered pupils counselling after they approached teachers for help following the recent spate of hangings.

The situation will be discussed by MPs tomorrow after the MP for Bridgend, Madeleine Moon, secured a debate in Parliament. She said: "I am very concerned about the issue, especially given the figures. The suicide rate for young males in Wales is nearly 35 per cent higher than that compared to England, and there were 40 deaths in Bridgend since 2006 with open verdicts. It is vital therefore that this issue is now addressed and a successful holistic strategy needs to be developed."

In the Welsh Assembly, the Counsel General Carwyn Jones, who is also the Assembly member for Bridgend, said a solution to the problem would be difficult to find given that many of the young people had given no indication that they planned to take their own lives.

"It's very difficult to think what exactly you can do to prevent something that there is no warning of, but we must try to do that," he said. "It's very difficult of course to try to understand... why this occurs. The impact on the family and parents, of course, is huge and one that will always be with them."

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