Tragic Chesterfield teen found hanged

A Chesterfield teenager found hanged had battled mental health problems for years, his inquest heard.

The inquest into 17-year-old Jacob Bates heard he had been in and out of a number of institutions in the years before his death, as he battled depression and anxiety.

Susan Cheetham with her son Jacob Bates in happier times.

Susan Cheetham with her son Jacob Bates in happier times.

Starting the four-day inquest at Chesterfield Coroner’s Court, Peter Nieto, Derby and Derbyshire coroner, said: “Jacob had involvement with a number of agencies and there have been a number of quite serious incidents over the years of Jacob harming himself.” 

The inquest heard Jacob, who had autism, was found hanged in a wooded area near Walton Dam on July 15, 2017, by four teenagers who had been playing football,

A suicide note was found in his room at his father’s house on Old Hall Road, Brampton.

A statement from Dr Deirdre McKenna, pathologist, told the inquest, hearing that his death ‘came with a background of significant mental health issues’.

Susan Cheetham with her son Jacob Bates in happier times.

Susan Cheetham with her son Jacob Bates in happier times.

Mr Nieto said; “At the age of 13, he began to self-harm. In 2013, there was a serious overdose. From that point he was in various hospitals and institutions for what seems to be several years.”

Giving evidence, Susan Cheetham, Jacob’s mum, from Loundsley Green, Chesterfield, said Jacob had spent  time in hospitals, units and homes across the country but, like many people with autism, he struggled with change, which meant each move was difficult and stressful for him.

In the weeks leading up to his death, he had been staying at Emma House, which “provides safe and progressive support in a nurturing residential setting to young people aged 16  and above making the transition from dependent to independent living”, in Chesterfield. 

The inquest heard Jacob had been arrested and interviewed about a sexual assault shortly before his death, which, his mum, said, greatly troubled him – although she said she did not believe the case would have progressed.

The hearing continues.

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