A 13-year-old schoolgirl with self-image and friendship issues took her own life, an inquest heard this week.
Ellie Phillips made notes about self-harming and her own funeral before she died at the family farm in Sutcombe on October 7 last year.
Her mother Michelle told the coroner that the star hockey player ‘was a private person who was quite negative’
She said her younger daughter was ‘thoughtful, considerate and kept her cards close to her chest’.
Senior Devon coroner Philip Spinney heard that Ellie was not happy at Shebbear College 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 Ellie did not have many friends and was ‘socially isolated’ after being left out which left her feeling moody.
On October 7, Ellie’s mum found her and tried to revive her but she died in North Devon District Hospital.
A post mortem concluded she died from hanging and there was some evidence of self harming cuts.
The inquest at Exeter’s County Hall heard she had ‘some social concerns about not fitting in’ but the Year 9 student’s behaviour was normal and her GP said she had no mental health issues.
Det Con Emma Baker said she found two notes 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’.
Her English teacher Frances Lovett counselled Ellie regularly and said she was ‘a bright and bubbly character’ who had petty squabbles and falling outs with other girls but ‘nothing out of the ordinary and nothing I would call bullying’.
She said she was ‘unhappy, withdrawn and upset’ because her dad had moved to Truro after the marriage ended and she did not see him as often but said she was still doing well academically.
Coroner Mr Spinney said Ellie was ‘private, cautious, considerate and anxious’ and referred to the notes on her iPhone about depression, self-harming and taking her own life.
He told her divorced parents and family: “Tragically she took her own life.”
He recorded a narrative conclusion said: “Ellie died as a result of her own actions. This really is a tragic event. It is very grave to bear to lose a daughter in these circumstances.”
Anyone who is contemplating self harm or needs to talk to someone can call the Samaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year, for free on 116 123.