I actually agonised for some weeks over whether I should post this here; didn’t want to be accused of “bringing a downer” on everything.
But then I thought it may give advance warning to someone and could help save them or their friend. The incident actually shocked me at first – I know people get mood swings but in 12 years have never seen it drive people to suicide at such an early stage – but I guess the stress of moving out from home to start Uni, the workloads and the social life could bring things on top…
Also looking at the second article it seems she had got herself into some “relationship problems”
But what goes up must come down – so please look after yourselves.
Self-confessed drug user found hanged
By Kate Cooney, Reading Chronicle
AN 18-year-old student who hanged herself from a door hinge just six weeks into her first year at Reading University had boasted to friends about her drug use.
An inquest heard Londoner Zoe Sherriff told fellow undergraduates at St Patrick’s Hall of Residence she had experienced rubbing cocaine into her gums and smoking cannabis.
Three days before her death she went to the university health centre with a self-inflicted cut on her arm.
But nurse Sally Atkins, who treated her, said it was superficial and she seemed rational and calm.
Head porter Ivor Lewis found Zoe’s body in her first floor room at around 10am on Tuesday, November 12, after her mother had been unable to contact her.
Friend Benjamin Whittle was worried about her when he went to her room at around 11pm on the Monday that he removed a quantity of tablets from her desk.
He said: “She was normally very happy. But this night she seemed upset and had been crying.”
And Cornelius Corkery said: “She came over to me and a friend a few weeks before she died and said she had been taking cocaine. She showed us where she had rubbed it into her gums.
“The night before she died she was lethargic and seemed as if she wanted to be alone.”
Zoe’s mother Dorothy told Tuesday’s inquest: “My last words to my daughter were, ‘Be careful darling it’s a dangerous world’.”
Recording an open verdict Reading coroner Dr Joe Pim said: “Although I’m sure Zoe did tie the dressing gown cord round her neck, what she was planning I’m not quite sure.
“I’ve seen so many youngsters start on a road to quite serious mental illness after just a few doses of these drugs.”
– from other Reading paper the Reading evening post –
Student found hanged
Tragedy – Zoe Sherriff who was found hanging by her dressing gown cord
A FRESHER from The University of Reading who was found hanging by her dressing gown cord told her mother she was “expecting some serious karma” a few weeks earlier, an inquest heard.
Zoe Sherriff was just six weeks into her course when she was discovered hanging in her room in
St Patrick’s Hall on November 12 last year.
At the inquest in Reading on Tuesday, coroner Dr Joe Pim heard how the 18-year-old had visited the university’s health centre on Saturday, November 9, with a self-inflicted one-inch cut on her left arm.
The 18-year-old from Camden, North London, told nurse Sally Atkins that she did it to frighten a friend, Elizabeth Evangelou, who she accused of sleeping with her boyfriend.
Miss Sheriff refused offers to see the doctor or counsellor at the time.
Her mother Dorothy Sherriff said Zoe had cut herself before, scratching the word “bitch” into her arm.
“She was more than looking forward to coming to Reading because she thought she had failed her A-levels. It was going well until the last time she was at home,” said Mrs Sherriff.
“There was a dramatic change – she was stroppy and not communicating. She said she had been a bitch and was expecting some serious karma. I think she meant she was expecting trouble.”
In a phone call to Mrs Sherriff on November 8, Zoe said she had been in a bar where someone had put two fingers to her head and made a shooting noise, calling her a slag or a slapper.
“The last thing I said to her was, ‘Be careful darling, it’s a dangerous world’,” Mrs Sherriff said.
Concerned for her daughter’s safety, she asked the hall porter to check on her on Tuesday morning.
That was when head porter Ivor Lewis discovered her body hanging by her dressing gown cord.
Miss Sherriff had spent the weekend with Miss Evangelou and they had gone to The Matrix
nightclub on November 9, where she told her friend she had taken an ecstasy tablet.
Student Lorna Passey saw Miss Sherriff at 3am on the Saturday “quite drunk and arguing with her friend”.
She said she was laughing about the cut on her arm and claimed her friend did it but the next morning said she had done it herself to prove her love for a boy in London.
Miss Evangelou left in a taxi the next morning.
Another student, Benjamin Whittle, told the inquest: “She said she heard voices in her head and thought I could hear her thoughts. She didn’t say what these thoughts were about.”
Mr Whittle checked on Zoe the night before her death and said she seemed to be “chirpy, happy and upbeat”.
A post-mortem examination carried out by Dr Leo Horton found Zoe’s heart was normal and there was no evidence of any alcohol in her blood and urine samples.
There were “concentrations of ibuprofen and anti-histamine consistent with a therapeutic dose” but no other drugs were present.
He concluded that the cause of death was hanging and the features were consistent with self-
Detective Sergeant Tom Judge from Thames Valley Police said he was satisfied that nobody else was involved.
Reading coroner Dr Joe Pim recorded an open verdict. He said: “Zoe had been taking drugs at times although there was no drug level in Zoe at the time when she died.
“Mental effects last quite a good time after the drugs have been taken. The effects can be serious, long lasting and an absolute tragedy.
“I’m sure Zoe was responsible for tying the dressing gown cord but I’m not convinced she intended to kill herself.”