Schoolboy, 13, sent girlfriend a picture of a noose then hanged himself in his bedroom

Conor Page, 13, of Wantage, Oxfordshire, died from organ failure after hanging himself

A 13-year-old schoolboy sent his girlfriend a picture of a noose before hanging himself in his bedroom after a trivial row, an inquest heard today.

Conor Page, of Wantage, Oxfordshire, died one day later from organ failure – just two days before Valentine’s Day.

The boy – who had a history of talking about self-harm and suicide with his girlfriend – had had an argument with her over a ‘minor issue’ on February 11, the day he was discovered hanging.

Conor’s mother, Joanne Smethurst, said: ‘I can’t explain why he did what he did. Conor came home from his dad’s on the Friday, then went back out again, saying he was going to see his girlfriend.

‘He came back about 7pm with a friend who stayed for dinner. They went to bed and we did not hear from them again. In the morning they went out and Conor helped his friend with his paper round.

‘I saw him about 10am, him and his younger stepsister were watching YouTube videos. Then Conor went back upstairs. 

‘Later I saw another one of Conor’s friends approaching the house. I shouted up to Conor but there was no response. I let the friend in and he went upstairs. 

Conor was transported to the John Radcliffe Hospital (pictured) in Oxford but died the next day

Conor was transported to the John Radcliffe Hospital (pictured) in Oxford but died the next day

‘Then Conor’s friend shouted down to me “I think Conor has fainted, I can’t open the door.” I went upstairs and found Conor slumped.

‘I called for my husband, Rob, and he asked me to call an ambulance for Conor and started CPR. He was a happy teenager. He had never attempted suicide before. He was a really happy kid.’

The coroner heard that Conor had hanged himself with a noose, which he had taken a photo of and sent to his girlfriend.

Detective Constable Victoria Johns, of Thames Valley Police, gave evidence about the contents of Conor’s mobile phone.

‘The only evidence to show any reason for Conor to end up in the circumstances he was found in, were on his phone,’ she told the coroner.

‘There were two messages from Conor to his girlfriend on the morning of February 11. At 10.03am he sent a message referring to him hanging himself. 

I think Conor has fainted, I can’t open the door 

What Conor Page’s friend shouted 

‘At 10.22am Conor sent a message which contained a photo of the noose. He was not in the noose. There were no other messages from Conor. 

‘There were thousands of text messages between them, sometimes showing an escalation of teenage angst. Both people would refer to self-harm and suicide. 

‘They didn’t appear to me to be anything more than threats. There was some evidence of self-harm, but these were scratches on his arm that appeared on the Friday. There was an escalation in the text messages.’

After being questioned by Conor’s family, Detective Johns said there was no pattern to the texts, clues to who instigated the messages, or if there was any encouragement. 

‘I would not call it encouragement,’ she said. ‘One person said something and the other retaliated, not encouragement. There was no pattern in who instigated.’

Paramedics were sent at 11.02am and reached the scene by 11.08am.

A heartbeat was briefly restored and Conor was transported to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford but he died the next day, February 12, of multiple organ failure due to hanging.

Conor was planning for his 14th birthday, which was on February 28, just 12 days after he died.

Oxfordshire coroner Darren Salter said he was unsure if the boy could have had the intention to end his own life, considering he was less than two weeks away from his 14th birthday when he died.

He said: ‘I am not sure Conor intended the outcome to be fatal. It is clearly an extremely sad case. Conor had a clearly supportive family around him. 

‘He was a sensitive lad. Outwardly there was no indication of what was going to happen. What there is, is the activity and messages between Conor and his girlfriend. 

‘Some of which went back several months. We have heard several references to teenage angst, self harm and suicide. 

‘There were escalations, in the context of having teenage angst. I can’t be certain Conor intended to take his own life. Therefore I record an open conclusion.’

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