Grieving mum's 'get help' plea

PUBLISHED: 08:57 01 December 2011

Ann and Toby Thorn

Ann and Toby Thorn

Archant

A HEARTBROKEN mother whose son committed suicide because of personal and financial worries has appealed for young people suffering with similar problems to seek help.

Anglia Ruskin student Toby Thorn, described as “intelligent and articulate” by friends, was found dead in a field off Lynn Road, in Ely, on July 10.

The 23-year-old had tied a bin liner around his neck and filled it with helium, suffocating himself.

Speaking after an inquest into her son’s death, held at Wisbech on Friday, Anne Thorn urged young people suffering with personal difficulties to reach out for help.

“It is just so senseless that young people do not go out and ask for help,” she said.

“I would like to encourage any young person to go out and get help, even if they think they are a burden. There is lots of support out there.

“If you are having any kind of suicidal thoughts go and see a counsellor or talk to your friends.”

At the inquest, coroner William Morris heard that Toby had dropped out of a degree course studying computing at ARU midway through his second year because of concerns about his grades.

He was persuaded to rejoin the course for his third year – starting in September 2010 – but dropped out again a few months later.

During the course of his studies, he had struck up a friendship with Graham Henderson and eventually moved into his house in Larkfield Road, Ely.

Mr Henderson described Mr Thorn as “extremely pleasant, carefree and funny” and told the inquest there was “nothing that indicated to him” that Mr Thorn was in any kind of difficulty.

He said Mr Thorn was in “good spirits” when he left to attend a music festival in Hertfordshire on Friday morning, two days before he committed suicide.

According to a police report, read out by the coroner, Mr Thorn’s body was discovered alongside bank statements, an electronic notebook and a suitcase, which also contained a canister of helium.

According to his bank statements, the student was overdrawn by £3,000 and had reached his limit.

The coroner gave the cause of death as asphyxiation and recorded that Mr Thorn had killed himself.

Julie Walkling, ARU’s director of student services, said that the university’s student services provided a range of support to people who may be experiencing challenges with their study, emotional or financial worries.

“We would encourage all students to seek help as soon as possible,” she said.

Most Read

Latest from the Ely Standard

Hot Jobs

Show Job Lists