Swansea University student's suicide after 'WhatsApp mistake'

Edward Senior during his gap year in Africa. He has a young African boy on his shoulders. Both are smiling.
Image caption Aspiring doctor Edward Senior was described as caring and compassionate by family and friends

A medical student killed himself after a WhatsApp message about a romance with a classmate was shared on social media, an inquest heard.

Newport Coroner's Court heard Edward Senior's private message about the "brief relationship" was seen by hundreds of people.

A complaint was made which led to Swansea University excluding him from lectures while it investigated.

The 22-year-old's body was found in a wood near his home in Monmouthshire.

Senior coroner Wendy James said: "Despite having the support of a loving family, it was not enough for him to get through a stressful period in his life.

"Not knowing what the ramifications would be, he felt isolated and became overwhelmed.

"It is not unusual for young people to make mistakes. But his biggest mistake was dwelling on that one mistake."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The inquest heard that friends from Mr Senior's university rugby team shared his private message

The inquest heard that Mr Senior died in February after the complaint about his WhatsApp post which had been shared on Facebook was raised.

He returned to his family home in Raglan, Monmouthshire, and was said to be distraught.

On the morning before his body was found he was described as "preoccupied".

The cause of death was given as hanging.

Miss James, who recorded a verdict of suicide, said: "It highlights the risk of posting on social media sites.

"He made the post in a private form and that post was shared by friends with the consequences that he was excluded from the majority of lectures.

"He felt his future as a doctor was in jeopardy."

Image caption Mr Senior's family said he had a 'rare ability to light up any room with his wide smile, mop of blonde hair and special charm'

Mr Senior's mother Diana told the inquest Edward had gained a 2:1 in physiology at Bristol University before a gap year at an orphanage in Ghana, Africa.

His brother Max added: "In the 22 years he lived, he had an unbelievable impact on so many people's lives.

"Ted was a friend to everyone and always did his upmost to help people in need."

His family has since set up a foundation in his name to help other young people contemplating ending their lives.

The Ted Senior Foundation fund has raised more than £19,000 to date.

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