Chloe Hiller was found dead after she threatened to kill herself
A teenage single mother hanged herself after her ex-boyfriend ignored a string of texts she sent to him threatening to kill herself.
Chloe Hiller, 17, sent her former sweetheart 37 messages some of which read: ‘I can’t do this anymore. I hang myself on Friday.’ She also told him she planned to buy rope and asked him whether it was possible to buy rope from a garage.
But the boy, also 17, didn’t take her warnings seriously and failed to raise the alarm. Chloe was later found hanged at a park near her home in Blackpool, Lancashire, having told staff at a mother and baby unit she felt ‘sh***y’.
Police investigated Chloe’s ex-boyfriend for possible charges of aiding and abetting her suicide but no action was taken against him. When questioned by detectives he refused to give up Chloe’s pin code to her phone.
Officers later accessed the device anyway and found the messages plus photos depicting superficial self-harm marks on a girl’s body. They could not be sure the pictures were of Chloe.
At an inquest in Blackpool, the dead girl’s family shook their heads in disbelief as a coroner cleared the boy of wrongdoing and ordered he be granted anonymity because of his age. He was not at the hearing.
Chloe’s mother, Louise Hiller told the inquest how her daughter was a ‘shy girl and an amazing mum’ but had been struggling in the months after the birth of her son.
She said: ‘I noticed that she was keeping the curtains shut, sitting in the dark and not going out.
‘She wasn’t wearing make up and her hair was greasy. I believe her ex-boyfriend did used to beat her. She had bruises. She would tell me that it was a door handle or things like that but it really did affect her. I was so concerned about it that I reported it to the police.’
Chloe was found dead by a passerby on March 30 after two days of text messages between here and her ex-boyfriend in she threatened to harm herself. In the hours before her death was captured on CCTV buying a rope from a garage.
The teenage mother sent her former sweetheart 37 messages some of which read: ‘I can’t do this anymore. I hang myself on Friday’
She had also been to her GP and told him she was having trouble sleeping and was prescribed anti depressants.
Det Con Insp Lisa Wilson told the hearing: ‘Chloe’s former boyfriend refused to give the code to her phone, but we were able to get the information from the phone regardless. On the 28 March and the 29 of March there were periods of conversation between him and Chloe.
‘On the 28th there were a series of messages between them at 2.15am to 3am on the 28th. There were 53 text messages, 16 from him and the remainder from Chloe to him. At 2:26am he sent Chloe a message talking about the time she told people she threatened to overdose and there were a series of further text messages in quick succession in which she insulted him and made derogatory comments to him without a reply.
‘On the 29th at 12.27pm to 2.02pm there were 13 messages from him to Chloe and 17 messages from Chloe to him including references to Chloe stating an intention to purchase to rope and asking him whether it was possible to buy rope from a garage.
‘There were also text messages to him that regarding her hanging herself and taking her own life. One of the messages read “I can’t do this anymore’ and she also made a reference to ‘when I hang myself on Friday”. It was significant what she was saying on the 28th and the 29th.’
The officer added: ‘She had been staying in a mother and baby unit but also had been staying at her mother’s. On March 29 she told the unit she was feeling sh***y and wanted to stay at her mum’s another night. She was told that she had to go back.
‘Her mum said that she was engrossed with her phone instead of watching her favourite TV programme and left the house at around 3pm saying she was going to go to her ex boyfriends house. The sales assistant who sold her the rope asked her what it was for but she said that it was for securing a bouncy castle. They even laughed together and she seemed in high spirits.
‘Chloe did make references to her ex-boyfriend that she wanted to kill herself but he made a statement saying he didn’t expect anything like that to happen to her. He didn’t dispute that he got the messages, but what he said was that he didn’t take them seriously.
At an inquest in Blackpool, the dead girl’s family shook their heads in disbelief as a coroner cleared the boy of wrongdoing and ordered he be granted anonymity because of his age
‘He didn’t think she was genuinely going to take her life. There was not enough evidence to take to the Crown Prosecution Service to bring criminal proceedings on the basis that he did effective encourage somebody to take her own life.
‘He was aware of Chloe’s intent, but there was not enough evidence that he encouraged or assisted in her death.
‘In his statement he mentioned that she had mentioned overdosing before and when he went to check on her there was no evidence to the effect that she had done that. He provided information to a social worker that she had previously self-harmed, but there was no evidence on Chloe’s body that she had ever self-harmed.
‘There were photos found on Chloe’s phone of superficial self-harm marks on somebody’s body parts but we cannot be sure that it was Chloe. On March 28 and 29th they exchanged text messages that referred to her self harming by hanging herself. He did know about the self-harm.’
Recording a conclusion of suicide, Coroner Alan Wilson said: ‘With regard to her ex boyfriend and him aiding or abetting in the suicide, while it is clear there were text messages between them it is not enough that it satisfies the necessary standard of proof.
‘There may have been issues in terms of morality with regards to a lack of response to the text messages that he received but he could have had no way of assessing or believing or could have expected that Chloe would act in the way that she did. I cannot determine criminal liability. The decision of this court is to consider evidence into the sad and tragic circumstances of Chloe’s death of Chloe Hiller.
‘It is clear that her relationship was having an impact on her and the issues contributed to her intention to end her life.’
For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, or see samaritans.org for details.