Hampshire & Isle of Wight

Girl's suicide came after cannabis letter sent in error

A 16-year-old girl killed herself after a letter was accidentally sent to her mother which revealed she was taking cannabis, an inquest has heard.

Tasmin Dalton, from Eastleigh, Hampshire, was found hanged in woodland near her home on 12 July.

Toxicology results showed she had taken cannabis before she died.

The hearing was told that a "clerical error" had led to a copy of a letter to Tasmin's GP being sent to her mother, Tracey Smith, mentioning the drug use.

Private person

The coroner recorded a verdict of suicide.

Tasmin had suffered from mental health problems for years and had attempted suicide on several occasions.

The court in Winchester was told she was a private person who did not wish to involve her parents in her treatment.

She had seen mental health specialist Moira Bingham in May and they had talked about sending a letter to her mother, the contents of which they would discuss at her next appointment in June.

Mrs Bingham said she was prepared to amend the letter and omit reference to the cannabis, if that was what Tasmin had wanted.

But in the meantime, the letter was sent out in error because of staff shortages and an inexperienced typist, the hearing was told.

Mrs Bingham, who worked for a child and adolescent mental health unit, told the hearing: "She had a very, very strong reaction. She was very angry. Very angry with me."

Bullied at school

The inquest heard Tasmin sent a letter to Mrs Bingham saying: "I was told everything said was strictly confidential and my mum would not be told.

"I'm appalled you have betrayed me."

She then broke off contact with the unit, saying she could not trust them.

Deputy Central Hampshire Coroner Simon Burge said there had been "chaos in the back office" of the unit and it was "unfortunate" that Mrs Bingham had not written the letter and then asked Tasmin to come in and see it the next day.

But he added that Mrs Bingham was experienced and had had Tasmin's "best interests at heart".

He said Tasmin's "demons were internal" and he was satisfied she had intended to take her life.

A few days before she died she went to her end-of-school prom and had a great time even though she had been bullied there by boys who had called her fat, the inquest heard.

She had seemed happy, but her mother told the hearing she felt she had decided to take her life before she went to the prom.

The hearing was told she left a note for her ex-boyfriend, saying she still loved him and asking him to look after her family.

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