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Spalding teenager committed suicide, inquest hears

A teenager who hanged himself from a tree had been preoccupied with the death of his aunt who had killed herself 10 months earlier.

Boston Coroner's Court heard that Lee Smalley (19), of Spalding had told his father on the evening of October 31 last year that he was going to drive two girls to Leicester and expected to return about three hours later.

The coroner, Tim Brennand, said that Lee's brother later contacted his father to say that Lee had sent a text at 2.06am saying: "By the time you read this I'll be gone."

TRAGIC: Lee Smalley (9971378)
TRAGIC: Lee Smalley (9971378)

In written evidence, the coroner said that Lee's father had told the police and then had gone out to search for him himself.

He said that after police traced the approximate location of Lee's phone, his father found him hanging from a tree in a remote location near the A16 at Cowbit, with his car parked nearby.

Mr Brennand said that Lee had been preoccupied with the death of his aunt by suicide in Norfolk in January 2018 and there were "indications he had not responded to his aunt's death in a good way".

Ruling that Lee had committed suicide, the coroner said it was clear he had chosen a remote location and that he was preoccupied with his aunt's death and was experiencing some emotional turmoil.

Offering his profound sympathies and condolences, Mr Brennand said it was "clear he was from a close, loving family and had so much to live for" but "the degree of preparation, location and background information all suggest a deliberate act of suicide".

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