Simone Grice inquest: Teenager was 'seeing older men'

Simone Grice. Pic: SWNS
Image caption Simone Grice said she had been bullied at school and in the local area

A teenager found dead near a bridge in Cornwall was involved in relationships with two older men she met on the internet, an inquest has heard.

The body of Simone Grice, 15, from Illogan, was found beneath a bridge on the A30 in 2009.

The hearing was told that it was possible she used a computer supplied for home schooling to contact the men.

It also heard she told social workers that she was bullied, but her aunt said she believed such bullying had stopped.

Her mother, Linda Grice, told the inquest in evidence that her daughter was not promiscuous.

But she said Simone had recently split up with her boyfriend, who she did not name, and had been associating with two other men.

Mrs Grice said that when her daughter came home one night, she seemed troubled and had experienced "something she couldn't live with".

Her mother also told the hearing that the only computer in the house was supplied as part of a home schooling programme.

Miss Grice was being home-taught after being taken out of school because of bullying.

Payment for sex

Mis Grice told social workers she had been bullied at school and in her local area, the inquest heard.

However, her aunt, Barbara Sykes, told the hearing that she dismissed bullying as a reason for Simone's decision to jump to her death.

She said her niece admitted she was sexually active and had a boyfriend, Mark.

However, he ended the relationship - leaving her "devastated" - after Miss Grice admitted meeting an older man for sex in a Tesco car park in the nearby town of Pool, Mrs Sykes said.

Afterwards she met another older man via the internet, called Jay, who would give her money and then have sex with her, she added.

Mrs Sykes said: "I was concerned by her behaviour and told her she should stop. I didn't like the implication that it was payment for sex."

Text messages

The hearing was also told Simone received text messages from two males, who were identified as "Jay" and "Robert X".

"Jay" had messaged her asking her not to contact him again as the police were outside his house.

She replied: "Not even when I'm 16?"

Later texts to the other man said: "I'm gonna jump" and "I'm at the bridge."

Simone's body was found at the Tolskithy valley bridge close to her home, the inquest at Camborne Magistrates' Court was told.

A road worker told the coroner that on 13 July 2009, he saw someone climb the barrier of the bridge, about 150ft (45m) high, and sit on the edge, rocking back and forth.

A post-mortem examination determined Miss Grice had died as a result of injuries consistent with falling from a height.

The inquest, which is expected to last two days, continues.

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