Open verdict on death of teen musician Chris Palmer
A talented teenager died after hanging himself from a tree, an inquest heard.
Chris Palmer, 15, was found in the back garden of his parents’ home on May 1.
He had been showing signs of being severely down in the days leading up to his death, but reassured everybody that he was fine.
A note left on his computer for his parents, sister Natalie, grandmother and cousin Matthew said he loved them all, but did not give reasons why he hanged himself, the inquest in Flax Bourton, Somerset, was told.
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Detective Sergeant Marcus Hathway, of Avon and Somerset Police, told the hearing Chris had used the internet to asked questions about hanging.
He said: “He seemed more down. It would be fair to say that prior to this he was a fairly happy boy. Having examined both of his computers there were a number of sites Chris had accessed. I wouldn’t call them ‘pro suicide sites’ but he had asked some questions about hanging.”
Chris, a Year 10 pupil at Chew Valley Comprehensive School, in Somerset, was found in the early hours of the morning by parents David and Janet after a worried school pal told his parents that Chris might do something stupid. They immediately cut him down, but were unable to save him, and he was pronounced dead at the scene, in Ubley, Somerset.
On the night of his death, Chris texted several friends, telling them that something was going to happen at 1am, but he did not specify what.
The inquest heard Chris was a popular boy who had many friends, enjoyed playing sport and was a talented pianist.
During an IT class Chris made a crude animation for a project of a stick figure hanging by a noose.
The cause of death was ruled by pathologist Dr Craig Pratt to be hanging, and a toxicology report indicated there was 93mg of alcohol in 100ml of blood – slightly over the legal limit of 80mg.
Dr Pratt said the alcohol, equivalent to about three pints of beer, was not a significant contributing factor into Chris’ death.
Coroner Maria Voisin, sitting at Flax Bourton Coroners’ Court, in Somerset, recorded an open verdict. She said: “He was a 15-year-old boy who appeared to have planned the events.”
She added: “I do have concerns about giving a suicide verdict because of the evidence of Detective Sergeant Hathway.
"All that remains for me to say is that I’m very sorry to the family.”