It has been discovered that a 13-year-old schoolgirl who hanged herself suffered self-image, friendship issues and researched suicide methods online before killing herself.
Ellie Phillips didn’t stop at researching suicide methods online but went on to write about her own funeral, an inquest heard. The inquest was told that the star hockey player had issues with her school and friendship groups in her year.
Her mother Michelle told the coroner that Ellie “was a private person who was quite negative”. She said her younger daughter was “thoughtful, considerate and kept her cards close to her chest”. But she said they were quite similar because Ellie was “quite argumentative and always wanted the last word”.
Michelle said she was Ellie was “addicted to her iPhone” and she threatened to confiscate it and her iPad because of her daughter’s attitude. She said during the last summer holidays Ellie spent a lot of time on her own.
The senior Devon coroner Philip Spinney heard that Ellie was not happy at the independent Shebbear College school in Devon and wanted to leave to go to another school.
Her stepfather Stuart Ley said: “She was a glass half empty person, not naughty but argumentative.” He said she would not confide in him and was guarded because he “wasn’t her real dad’ who had moved away to Truro, Cornwall, when her parents’ marriage ended. He said Ellie did not have many friends and was “socially isolated” after being left out which left her feeling moody.
The day before her death she had captained her school hockey team to their best result in a tournament and Ellie was player of the tournament. She also represented Cornwall at hockey.
On the day she died she “talked about people who she did not like” before going to a pond area to do her homework at their dairy farm at Sutcombe, North Devon. She did not try and conceal herself as she played loud music before she hanged herself.
Her mum found her and tried to revive her but she died in North Devon hospital.
After her death, two notes were found on Ellie’s iPhone which were dated May and September 2017 where she was “considering the end”. The inquest heard the iPhone notes revealed “a reference to her funeral, depression, self harm, stress, anxiety and self image concerns”. A detective said there were internet searches about methods of suicide.