A ‘bubbly’ horse-loving student hanged herself after struggling with lockdown and Covid isolation, an inquest heard today.
Gabrielle Treharne, 17, was found dead in her bedroom in Cannington, Bridgwater, on March 2 after a day at home alone while both her parents were at work.
The college student had been self-isolating at home in the weeks leading up to her death after both her parents contracted Covid, Somerset Coroner’s Court heard.
Her father Jago today told an inquest: ‘If it hadn’t been for Covid she would probably still be here.’
Gabrielle – known as Gabby – was described as ‘bubbly’ and ‘very social’, with a ‘huge’ group of friends.
In a statement, Jago told the inquest that his daughter had struggled with the lack of contact and socialising with her friends during lockdown.
Gabrielle Treharne (above), 17, was found dead in her bedroom in Cannington, Bridgwater, on March 2 after a day at home alone while both her parents were at work
But Jago and Gabrielle’s mother Vaida both agreed they had not noticed any changes in their daughter’s mental wellbeing or personality in the weeks leading up to her death.
Gabrielle was found by her father on the evening of March 2, lying on her bed.
Statements from both Jago and Vaida heard that Gabrielle had been home alone during the day, whilst both her parents were out at work.
Vaida said she had last seen Gabrielle at 12.55pm that afternoon, as she left the house to go back to work following a lunch break at home.
She said: ‘When I came home for lunch, Gabrielle was sat on the sofa in the living room. I assumed she was watching TV, and I sat down next to her and plugged my phone in to reply to some messages.
‘After about ten minutes she got up to have lunch, and then when I left to go back to work at 12.55pm, she was in her room.
‘I didn’t go in as she didn’t like to be disturbed – so instead I shouted, “See you later, gorgeous”.
The college student (above) had been self-isolating at home in the weeks leading up to her death after both her parents contracted Covid, Somerset Coroner’s Court heard
‘I liked to make her smile, so I said it loudly. I didn’t hear from Gabrielle for the rest of the day, which was normal.’
Vaida returned home after 6pm and said she heard Gabrielle’s music playing from a speaker, and a clicking sound from her phone as she received messages.
But it wasn’t until Jago returned home at 8.15pm that either parent realised something was amiss.
In his statement, Jago said: ‘Gabrielle’s light was on and I could hear music playing through her speaker, and the click of her phone receiving messages.
‘I opened her door and saw her lying on the bed.
‘I said hello and she didn’t answer, so I said it again and she still didn’t answer, which was a bit odd.
‘I went over and touched her, and then shook her. Then I screamed for my wife.
‘Gabrielle was cold, and I knew instinctively there was nothing I could do – but she was my daughter so I was going to try.’
Vaida added: ‘When I heard Jago shout it went right through me.
‘I remember seeing Gabrielle lying on her bed and thinking, ‘Why are you joking with us like this?’.
Jago called 999 and paramedics attended the home address, but Gabrielle couldn’t be saved.
Vaida said: ‘I have no explanation for what happened. Everything that happened up until we found Gabrielle was normal.
‘We had absolutely no concerns about her mental wellbeing, and her personality hadn’t changed at all.’
Gabrielle’s parents said their daughter had already been making plans for the future, including taking pre-paid driving lessons which she had been ‘so happy’ about.
Her father described Gabrielle as ‘bubbly and full of life,’ adding: ‘She was a very social person, and had a huge group of friends.
‘She was quite a private person in the sense that she liked her own space.
‘We were reasonably close as a family, and she had moments where she would talk to me about things, but I didn’t push her.’
Her mother described her as a ‘rock’ for her friends. She said: ‘Gabrielle was a private person and didn’t share a lot, but she was very good at supporting and helping her friends when they needed it.
‘She was a very happy person, and loved to party.’
A letter from Gabrielle’s GP, Dr Searle, at Cannington Health Centre in Bridgwater, said there was nothing on her record to indicate she was at risk of self-harm, and that she had never previously been referred to mental health services.
Senior coroner Tony Williams said recorded a conclusion of suicide by hanging.
He said: ‘I conclude that on March 2, 2021, Gabrielle deliberately suspended herself by the neck with the intention of ending her life.
‘It appears to me that it’s a tragically sad situation where Gabrielle, a private young lady, has kept her worries and concerns to herself, and not shared them with you or others.
‘She had previously made plans for the future, and my impression is that she has acted impulsively.
‘But I believe that Gabrielle knew what the outcome of her actions would be, and what the end result would be, knowing that she was home alone and was not going to be disturbed.’
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