Inquest hears how troubled Cirencester schoolgirl Jasmine Clarkson hanged herself in St Michael's Park
1:25pm Thursday 6th March 2014
1:25pm Thursday 6th March 2014
A CIRENCESTER schoolgirl who was troubled that she might be bisexual hanged herself in a park after writing bizarre suicide notes all over her own body, an inquest heard today.
Jasmine Clarkson, aged 14, of Ashton Road in Siddington did not go to Kingshill School in the Cotswold town on the morning of Thursday, November 7 last year.
Instead, she changed into her characteristic black clothing and beanie hat and went to St Michael's Park where she hanged herself from a tree branch.
Shocked passersby saw her body at midday that day and thought at first it might be a belated Halloween prank, the Gloucester inquest was told.
Examination of her body then revealed she had written all over herself saying things such as "I have done too many wrong things and not enough rights so instead of breathing I will take my life. Jasmine Clarkson."
Another note on her hand said simply "Jasmine Clarke, 29.6.1999 - 7.11.2013."
Acting Gloucestershire coroner David Dooley recorded a suicide verdict on the 'independent minded, clever and boisterous' youngster.
He said he regarded the most important messages on her body as the ones which referred to her being told by 'the voices' to take her life.
Jasmine's mum Deborah Clarkson, who did not attend the inquest, said in a statement her daughter had taken an overdose at school earlier last year. Jasmine later said it was because she felt she had no friends.
"I saw it as a cry for help," stated Mrs Clarkson, a cleaner. She regretted she had not sent her for counselling or therapy, she said.
But Jasmine was looking forward to the future at the time and she and her older sister had booked to see two of their favourite bands in Birmingham - Bullet For My Valentine and Asking Alexandria.
Jasmine had been in minor trouble with the police shortly before her death - for setting fire to a notice at a bus stop, Mrs Clarkson added.
"She was not a troubled girl. But she didn't know what she wanted to be. It was like she wanted to be a bad girl but couldn't," she stated.
Jasmine had told her and her partner Michael Elwood that she thought she might be bi-sexual, she said.
"We spoke to her to reassure her that it was not going to be an issue for us and we would love her regardless."
Mrs Clarkson said there had also been some trouble about Jasmine using the social network site AskFM.
"Some nasty comments were made so I told her to stay off," said Mrs Clarkson. "I did look at her Facebook occasionally but she didn't have me as one of her friends. I used to check she was being appropriate on it.
"I advised her to be careful who she accepted as a friend. She had a lot of random people on there."
Mrs Clarkson added "We are all completely shocked and cannot understand how this has happened to Jasmine. There had never been any issues of self harm.
"She seemed to be doing well, picking up and looking forward to the future.
"She had some good friends she would spend time with. I am at a complete loss and feel empty."
Her partner, Mr Elwood, said in a statement "I cannot take her death in. She was such a happy lass although I know at times in the past she has felt quite alone."
He said her death might have been a 'teenage prank' because in the last few months she had been the happiest he had ever seen her.
He also said Jasmine had written a letter saying she was uncertain about her sexuality.
"We said we had no problem with whatever her decision was and we were okay with it. I thought it was perhaps an element of attention seeking."
Jasmine's grandmother, Gillian Davidson, said she was very shocked because Jasmine had said what she wanted for Christmas and was looking forward to a trip to Barcelona.
"She was a comedian, loud, funny, a little bit naughty, a very happy person," she stated.
On the morning of her death Jasmine had seemed normal and fine, she stated.
A family friend, Julie Ann Parry, said she had seen Jasmine that morning at between 8.40 and 8.45am wearing black skinny jeans, a black zip up hoodie and black beanie hat and she asked why she was not in school Jasmine told her: "I have a doctor's appointment in half an hour."
The inquest heard from several people who had passed through St Michael's Park that day and saw Jasmine.
One saw her standing in a copse full of brambles and nettles rummaging in her bag.
Chris Rumsey said he was cycling through the park on his way to work at about midday and saw her sitting on a bench "She was clearly crying," he said. "I noticed her make up was running."
Katy Poole said she was with her young daughter in the park when she saw Jasmine and realised she had something tied around her head.
"I initially thought someone had killed themselves but I also thought it may be some sort of Halloween prank," she said.
She ran from the scene but then met an elderly man and went back to the scene with him.
"When I got closer I could see it was a real girl and I called 999. "
The inquest heard that Jasmine had written on her hands and arms.
On her left hand she had written "I have done so many wrong things.' The message ended "I am ending my life."
Another witness, Stuart Bexon, said he saw a note on her arm saying "The voices in my head said if I don't f***ing do it then they would."
On her left palm she had written 'Jasmine Clarkson, 29.6.1999 - 7.11.2013"
The coroner said "She is clearly predicting her own death on this day."
On her right forearm was written: "I didn't tell myself to do this. The voices did. They said if you don't f***ing do it then we will and we will make you suffer."
The coroner said her diary and notebooks at home showed 'numerous entries suggestive of depression and a tormented young lady."
Detective Inspector Jan Blomfield told the inquest that another note on her body said: "I don't know why I am here. I have no purpose so goodbye."
On her right upper arm was written: "I have done too many wrong things and not enough rights so instead of breathing I will take my life. Jasmine Clarkson."
To her family she wrote: "Don't be sad, it wasn't your fault."
Recording his conclusion the coroner noted that she had been suffering serious period pains and mood swings and had taken an overdose at school in the July before her death.
"She was a girl of a somewhat rebellious nature but liked to be seen as more rebellious than she really was," he added.
He said he felt there was evidence of a psychosis and that she had been hiding her feelings of low esteem and depression.
He was sure she had intended to take her life because her action was" too extreme to allow for failure," said the coroner.
"This was no accident considering the extreme nature of her action."
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