Search

Tallulah Wilson inquest: Why did everyone miss warning signs before schoolgirl’s tragic suicide?

PUBLISHED: 15:19 22 January 2014 | UPDATED: 16:06 22 January 2014

Senior coroner for north London Mary Hassell asked on the third day of the inquest: 'How could it be that everybody got this so wrong?'

Senior coroner for north London Mary Hassell asked on the third day of the inquest: 'How could it be that everybody got this so wrong?'

Archant

How was it that everyone missed the warning signs before 15-year-old Tallulah Wilson took her own life under a train at St Pancras Station?

Seeking help?

The Samaritans provide confidential emotional support to anyone in crisis, around the clock, every day of the year. You can contact the Samaritans by calling 08457 90 90 90 or visiting your local branch.

Everyone who knew talented ballerina Tallulah Wilson was stunned by her death in October 2012. And on the third day of the inquest into her death, senior coroner for north London Mary Hassell, asked: “Nobody has said this was going to happen or said, I thought she was about to take her life. Everybody was absolutely shocked. How could it be that everybody got this so wrong?”

We look at the key factors in the case.

Self harm blogs: Tallulah’s mother, Sarah Wilson

West Hampstead schoolgirl Tallulah Wilson, 15, died after jumping under a train at St Pancras Station in October 2012. A jury at St Pancras Coroner's Court will today reach its conclusions about her death West Hampstead schoolgirl Tallulah Wilson, 15, died after jumping under a train at St Pancras Station in October 2012. A jury at St Pancras Coroner's Court will today reach its conclusions about her death

The inquest into Tallulah’s death at St Pancras Coroner’s Court last week heard that she was obsessed with online blogs about suicide and often posted disturbing images of self-harm to her 18,000 followers.

When her mother discovered her internet activity, she had Tallulah’s account deleted, with her psychiatrist’s support, because she was concerned about the influence these dangerous blogs could have on a young girl.

“She said, mummy you don’t understand. I have 18,000 people who love me for who I am,” Ms Wilson told the jury.

“She went berserk. She was screaming, banging her head on the wall and pulling her hair. But I couldn’t let her carry on. She was brainwashed.”

Tallulah never discussed suicide with her mother and Ms Wilson did not think the schoolgirl would take her own life at the time of her death because she seemed to be getting better after moving to a new school, St Margaret’s in Kidderpore Avenue, Hampstead, the month before she died.

Mental state: Tallulah’s psychiatrist, Andy Weiner

Andy Wiener believed the church choir singer had mild depression at the time of her death, having been initially diagnosed with severe depression six months earlier.

He did not consider her to be a person at risk of suicide but rather a person at risk of self-harm. But he said Tallulah was impulsive and he told the jury that “being impulsive increases the risk”.

She took an overdose two weeks before her death but Dr Wiener considered this an act of self-harm and not a suicide attempt because Tallulah admitted what she had done to her mother.

Dr Wiener admitted that he underestimated the impact that deleting the Tallulah’s online blog would have on her, and speculated about whether she may have felt as if she had been “deleted” as well.

He told the inquest he has since undergone training and now better understands the role of the internet in young people’s lives.

He said he is now better equipped to help other distressed young people who spent a lot of time online.

Bullying: Tallulah’s former school, St Marylebone Church of England School in Marylebone

Tallulah told her grandmother before she died in the summer of 2011 that she was being bullied at her school, St Marylebone.

Her mother said the bullying had gone on for years because Tallulah wanted to become part of the largest friendship group at the school.

She said girls as young as 12 would post sexually explicit material on social media websites.

This content “traumatised” Tallulah, who was described by senior coroner for north London Mary Hassell as “very sensitive”.

Lindsay Anncock, head of inclusive education at St Marylebone, denied the schoolgirl had been bullied.

“I really can’t say that she was being bullied,” she told the jury. “I’m absolutely sure they were unkind to each other... but bullying is very specific, it’s persistent and it’s regular.”

The school has a zero tolerance policy for dealing with bullies but can only deal with specific incidents, Ms Annock told the jury.

She added that Tallulah was not a “shrinking violet” and could “give as good as she got”.

Tallulah was told not to come back to St Marylebone in May 2012 after showing a school nurse recent self-harming wounds.

Ms Anncock phoned her mother to tell her that the school “could no longer keep her safe and that it “wouldn’t be able to fulfil its duty of care”.

Related articles

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 17:15

Hampstead voted overwhelmingly to adopts its neighbourbood plan in a referendum yesterday.

Disability campaigner, Olympic torchbearer and Shepherd’s Hill resident Pamela Moffatt has died at the age of 80.

Yesterday, 15:54

Teddy bears will be cascading down from St James’ Church once again on Saturday, as part of the fourth annual Midsummer Muswell festival.

Yesterday, 12:47

Three young men have been charged in relation to two moped smash and grabs after police executed search warrants across Islington, Camden and Haringey.

Yesterday, 12:22

A Muswell Hill woman is living on borrowed time after being diagnosed with the deadly mesothelioma “asbestos disease” caused by hugging her dad as a toddler when he came home each night from working in the docks in the 1960s.

Yesterday, 10:55

The London Irish Centre has received a welcome funding boost after Ed Sheeran and Dermot O’Leary helped them rake in £250,000 on Wednesday night.

Thu, 17:57

George Michael superfans are preparing to celebrate his life at two events on Sunday, ahead of what would have been the pop icon’s 55th birthday.

Thu, 17:28

Workers have reportedly been living on a construction site in Abercorn Estate in St John’s Wood.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

After over 50 years in the acting industry, and a decade of unprecedented success delivering outstanding part-time performing arts tuition at her weekend Academies across the country, Pauline Quirke returns to her roots to create even more opportunities for young performers in North London.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now