Coroner concludes inquest into death of young Derbyshire man who strangled himself

The late Ryan Whitlow. Picture kindly submitted by his father, Anthony Whitlow.
The late Ryan Whitlow. Picture kindly submitted by his father, Anthony Whitlow.

A young man may have attempted to remove a ligature from around his neck before dying from strangulation, an inquest heard.

Ryan Whitlow passed away in his flat in Chesterfield in August last year, days after being discharged from the town's mental health unit.

During his four-day inquest at Chesterfield coroners' court, the 22-year-old was described as a 'bright, articulate young man' who wanted to be an engineer.

Today, coroner Kathryn Hayes recorded a narrative conclusion and said she could not give a verdict of suicide.

The inquest heard Mr Whitlow attended the A&E department at Chesterfield Royal Hospital at the end of June after drinking bleach.

While at the hospital, he tried to take his own life and was subsequently detained under the Mental Health Act and admitted to the Hartington Unit.

The young man was discharged from the unit on July 26 and went to live with his uncle in Croydon before travelling back to Chesterfield on July 31.

Police found Mr Whitlow's body in his flat on Birchwood Court on the evening of August 4.

(REPORTER'S NOTE - on the basis of advice from the Samaritans, we are not reporting what type of ligature Mr Whitlow used, hence why the word is in brackets in the following paragraphs)

Giving her narrative conclusion, Ms Hayes said: "Mr Whitlow died from strangulation after applying a (ligature) tightly around his neck.

"He had barricaded his property from the inside and left a note which indicated an intention to take his own life.

"He had made previous attempts to take his own life.

"There is no evidence he was suffering from psychosis at the time he applied the (ligature).

"It's clear when he applied the (ligature) he intended to take his own life.

"However, it's possible that he subsequently changed his mind and attempted to remove the (ligature).

"His intention at all material times is therefore not conclusively clear."

Ms Hayes added there were 'no causative or contributory failings by any bodies' despite a number of concerns raised by Mr Whitlow's family.


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