Teenager Who Was Depressed Over Girlfriend Set Fire To Himself

PUBLISHED: 09:58 05 August 2009 | UPDATED: 11:01 04 May 2010

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A TEENAGER set fire to himself at the farm where he worked, just a day after returning to a girlfriend who had messed his life up . The burning body of 18-year-old John Dean-Hessey was discovered by a work colleague at Whitebridge Farm in Ely Road at Lit

A TEENAGER set fire to himself at the farm where he worked, just a day after returning to a girlfriend who had "messed his life up".

The burning body of 18-year-old John Dean-Hessey was discovered by a work colleague at Whitebridge Farm in Ely Road at Littleport, with a petrol can by his side.

"I got out of my car and walked over to the area where I noticed smoke and flames," farm worker John Saberton told an inquest at Ely Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

"I thought someone was burning rubbish. Then I realised it was a body, I didn't know who it was."

The teenager's great-aunt, Janet Allen of Witchford, said "all the cheerfulness" had gone out of him, after he met his girlfriend.

And a partner in the farming company A L Lee and Sons, Stephen Lee, said the 18-year-old's attitude had changed in the weeks leading up to his death.

"He sat on his own for dockey, before that he sat with everyone, and was jovial. There was definitely a change in him," he said.

At 3am on the day before his death, John phoned his great-aunt and asked to be picked up from his home in Littleport.

"He seemed to be in the process of leaving this girl," she said. "There was a bit of a scene, she got into the car and put her arms around him, and wouldn't let go."

Mrs Allen drove off with her great nephew, and he slept at her home until she took him back to work early the next morning.

But later that day the teenager said he wanted to return to his girlfriend, and Mrs Allen took his clothes back to him.

"He said he wanted to go back to her because he loved her," she said. "I watched him walk back to the house. It was the last time I saw him."

Recording a verdict of suicide, coroner William Morris said: "This is a very sad case. It is particularly said for someone so young to meet their end in this way. There is no evidence of foul play or any third party involvement.

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