Hannah Smith inquest: Teenager posted 'online messages'

Hannah Smith Image copyright Dave Smith
Image caption Hannah Smith was found hanging in her room by her sister

A 14-year-old girl found hanged in her bedroom probably posted "vile" messages about herself on a social media website, police told an inquest.

Hannah Smith was found dead at her home in Lutterworth, Leicestershire, on 2 August.

Her father told the inquest she had been bullied for some time.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Leicester coroner Catherine Mason said there was no evidence Hannah had been targeted by bullies on the Ask.fm site.

Following Hannah's death, her father David Smith had called for action to be taken against internet trolls who had apparently posted messages about his daughter in the run-up to her death.

However, Det Sgt Wayne Simmons revealed at the inquest that scrutiny of Hannah's laptop and address codes - known as IP addresses - which can help locate computers connected to the internet, had revealed strong evidence she had in fact posted all the messages to herself.

Ms Mason said that "understandably", friends and family who saw those messages might have concluded they had caused her to take her own life.

"The evidence I have was that on the balance of probabilities they would all have been at Hannah's own hand," she said.

"Why she did it, I don't know."

'Bubbly, happy girl'

Earlier in the inquest at Leicester Town Hall, Mr Smith said his daughter had been involved in a fight with a friend at a party five months before her death.

He said he believed his daughter had been bullied for some time and believed her eczema had been the reason she was targeted.

He said she changed from a "bubbly, happy" girl to a more introverted person after her head was smashed against a wall twice.

Mr Smith said his daughter, who attended Lutterworth High School, had also taken to spending more time in bed and was late for class about once a week.

He said he had put this down to her being "a lazy teenager".

He added that he had spoken to his daughter about self harming, but she had never raised the subject of wanting to take her own life.

Hannah's older sister Joanne Smith said on one occasion she had "ripped out the hair" of a person she had believed to be bullying her sister at school.

She said her younger sibling had been targeted throughout Years Seven, Eight and Nine.

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