On May 18th of last year, a 13-year-old girl hanged herself at her family home—according to an inquest into her death. Just a day before, the teenaged student had faked hanging herself.
The girl, Lily Mae Sharp, pretended to do what she later did—commit suicide—in her school’s toilets; she performed the mock suicide as part of a prank video that was inspired by the program 13 Reasons Why, which is a divisive Netflix series. The show is about a United States high school student who commits suicide.
She had talked about the series the day prior to her death. That day, while in the bathroom at the Sandbach High School For Girls, other girls chose Lily to wear a noose made out of toilet paper—which is apparently also related to the show.
During a hearing at the coroner’s court, Lily’s mother—Victoria Noblet—said that she does wonder about that video, adding that her daughter was watching the aforementioned series, and certain similarities do exist.
The mother said her daughter had mentioned the show on a couple of occasions, and Lily also had her own log in to Netflix. She was not sure if Lily had actually watched it, but was pretty sure that it had been discussed with her friends.
Lily’s mother thinks that her daughter might have asked her if she had seen the show, to which Victoria replied that she had not.
Lily’s mother admitted that her family was going through a difficult time because of her split from her ex-husband, who she married when Lily was five years old. However, she added that her daughter always seemed “happy” and “bubbly”.
Lily’s father, David, had arranged counseling sessions for his daughter because—according to him—she spoke of feeling “scared” and “worried” regarding the future.
Lily’s mother had left the family home in Brandwell, Chehire on May 18th at roughly 6:45 PM. She left Lily in charge of looking after her younger daughter.
Lily’s mom called 26 times between 7:34 PM and 9:17 PM. Upon returning home at around midnight, she discovered that Lily had made the decision to hang herself.
A JustGiving account has been created to honor Lily. Over 6,000 pounds have been raised so far.
John Leigh, who is the head teacher at Lily’s school, said that there had been “speculation” regarding bullying, but Lily was not a pupil of concern. He did admit he was aware of the mock hanging in the bathroom.
Leigh said that—as he understood it—the mock hanging was related to a television program that Lily or other girls had been watching.
The head teacher also added that Lily had been called a nasty word on the day of her death by a bunch of girls on social media—that incident, he claimed, had no bearing on the 13-year-old girl’s death.
A few of Lily’s friends were concerned about the girl, however, having told a teacher that Lily was expressing “dark thoughts”. The girl’s mother had been advised to make an appointment with the family’s general practitioner.
A mere six days before Lily’s suicide, she met with a school counselor and claimed that she was happy. However, that did not appear to be the case—a senior coroner came to the conclusion that Lily committed suicide.
The coroner—Alan Moore—stated that there wasn’t any apparent pattern of troubling behavior; as a result, he added, there were was no pattern of “red flags” to alert loved ones that anything was truly wrong.
Moore said Lily’s act was an impulsive one—a deliberate one, but also a spur of the moment decision—and not anything that had been in the works for an extended period of time. Nevertheless, he said, what happened is no less heartbreaking for her family and her friends.
Lily’s suicide is tragic, certainly, but the sad fact of the matter is that the most common form of suicide in the UK is hanging—at least according to statistics from 2015.
Fortunately, resources are offered to those considering suicide. A simple search can get people the help they desperately need. For example, there is an organization called the Samaritans in the United Kingdom who can offer support.