News, Culture & Society

Girl sent apology to novelist mother before her death

  • Ursula Keogh, 11, went missing from her home in Halifax on January 22 
  • The 11-year-old school girl sent a text message to her mother Nicola Harlow
  • Ms Harlow alerted police after receiving the message ‘I love you but so sorry’
  • The youngster’s inquest was adjourned yesterday after five minutes until April 10

A tragic schoolgirl texted her mother to say ‘I love you but so sorry’ on the day of her death, an inquest heard.

The body of Ursula Keogh, 11, who had a history of self-harm, was found in a river in Halifax, West Yorkshire, on January 22, Bradford Coroners Court heard.

Ursula had been reported missing by her acclaimed novelist mother Nicola Harlow after receiving the text message, the court was told.

Ursula Keogh, right, sent a text message to her mother Nicola Harlow, left, on the afternoon she died. Ms Harlow alerted police who recovered her daughter's body from a river in Halifax

Ursula Keogh, right, sent a text message to her mother Nicola Harlow, left, on the afternoon she died. Ms Harlow alerted police who recovered her daughter’s body from a river in Halifax
The youngster's body was recovered from the River Calder, pictured, on January 22

The youngster’s body was recovered from the River Calder, pictured, on January 22
The Lightcliffe Academy student's inquest will resume on April 10 before concluding in May

The Lightcliffe Academy student’s inquest will resume on April 10 before concluding in May

A post mortem found she died at 18.55 on January 22 and was identified by her mother later that evening. .

Coroners’ official Bernard Tate said: ‘Ursula Keogh lived with her mother and had a history of self-harm.

‘Her mother contacted the police to raise concerns for her daughter and said she had received a text message from her which said: “I love you but so sorry”.

‘Her body was found by officers later that day in a small river.’ 

Ursula Keogh's inquest heard she had previously tried to self-harm

Ursula Keogh’s inquest heard she had previously tried to self-harm

Her mobile phone was recovered nearby and several notes which ‘indicated suicide ideation’ had also been found.

No witnesses were called during the brief five-minute opening hearing.

Ursula’s mother did not attend the hearing and no cause of death for the youngster was given.

Assistant coroner David Urpeth said: ‘This is an utterly tragic case involving the death of a young girl.

‘The circumstances surrounding the death have been submitted to the police for investigation.’

He adjourned the inquest until April 10 for a pre-inquest review, before the inquest is expected to conclude on May 22.  

  • For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123, visit a local Samaritans branch or see www.samaritans.org for details.  



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk