Search

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

15:19 22 January 2014

Senior coroner for north London Mary Hassell asked on the third day of the inquest:

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 deathWest 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

0 comments

Latest News Stories

Yesterday, 18:46
Lead singer Shane McGowan of The Pogues at the Highgate launch of the band's branded whisky

Celtic punk band The Pogues have launched their own brand of Irish whiskey at lead singer Shane McGowan’s favourite Highgate bar.

Yesterday, 16:21
Castlehaven community picnic 25.07.15. From left co-organiser Gavin Frenback and Guilliame from The Fields Beneath with Chair of Castlehave Tony Dunne hand out picnic bags, front row from left Keira (7), JJ (5), Ryan (4), and Qiana (5).

Families enjoyed a rare spell of good weather on Saturday to celebrate the transformation of their local park with a big picnic.

Yesterday, 14:20
Ira Moss from All Dogs Matter with actor Peter Egan, author Jane Fallon, and comedian Ricky Gervais with Monty, a three -month-old labrador looking for a home. Picture: Polly Hancock

Hampstead’s cutest pooches dressed in an array of colourful outfits and vied for prizes at an annual charity dog show supported by animal lover and comedian Ricky Gervais.

Yesterday, 08:30
Traders and residents demonstrate  against the Dog Parlour coming to South End Green. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A veterinary surgeon has joined arms with residents furious over plans to open Hampstead’s next dog spa – saying it could threaten the lives of asthmatics and lead to the high street being blasted with dog hair and skin.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder