Inquest Into Tasmin Dalton's Death

An inquest's heard how a 16-year-old girl committed suicide weeks after becoming angry over a letter sent to her mother in error which said she was taking cannabis.

Tasmin Dalton from Eastleigh  was found hanging in woodland near her home on July 12 this year.

Toxicology results showed she had taken cannabis before she died, the hearing in Winchester was told.

The previous month a "clerical error'' had led to a copy of a letter to Tasmin's GP being sent to her mother, Tracey Smith, mentioning the drug use.

The inquest heard that Tasmin, who had suffered from mental health problems for years and attempted suicide on several occasions, was a private person who did not wish to involve her parents in her treatment.

She had seen mental health specialist Moira Bingham in May and they had talked about sending a letter to her mother, the contents of which they would discuss at her next appointment in June.

Mrs Bingham said she was prepared to amend the letter and omit reference to the cannabis, if that was what Tasmin had wanted.

But in the meantime, the letter was sent out in error because of staff shortages and an inexperienced typist, the hearing was told.

Mrs Bingham, who worked for a child and adolescent mental health unit told the hearing:

"She (Tasmin) had a very, very strong reaction. She was very angry. Very angry with me.''

The hearing was told she sent a letter to Mrs Bingham, saying:

"I was told everything said was strictly confidential and my mum would not be told.''

It went on: "I'm appalled you have betrayed me.''

She then broke off contact with the unit, saying she could not trust them.

On the day before she died she went to see a GP who felt she was not suicidal. He asked her to fill out a mental health questionnaire and bring it back the next day, which she agreed to do.

A few days earlier she had been to her school prom and had a great time even though she had been bullied there by boys who had called her fat, the inquest heard.

She had seemed happy, but her mother told the hearing she felt she had decided to take her life before she went to the prom.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Deputy Central Hampshire Coroner Simon Burge said there had been "chaos in the back office'' of the unit and it was "unfortunate'' that Mrs Bingham had not written the letter and then asked Tasmin to come in and see it the next day.

But he added that Mrs Bingham was experienced and had Tasmin's "best interests at heart''.

He said Tasmin's "demons were internal'' and he was satisfied she had intended to take her life.

The hearing was told she left a note for her ex-boyfriend, saying she still loved him and asking him to look after her family.

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