Glasgow & West Scotland

Erskine Bridge plunge death girl 'wrote suicide note'

Georgia Rowe and Neve Lafferty
Image caption Georgia Rowe and Neve Lafferty were attending the Good Shepherd Centre

A teenager who jumped with her friend from a bridge over the River Clyde had written a suicide note a year before the double death tragedy.

A fatal accident inquiry heard that Neve Lafferty, 15, wrote the letter.

The Helensburgh teenager died, along with Georgia Rowe, who was 14 and from Hull, after they plunged from the Erskine Bridge in October 2009.

Both girls had been attending a nearby independent unit - the Good Shepherd Centre in Bishopton, Renfrewshire.

The details of the apparent suicide pact were being examined by the FAI at Paisley Sheriff Court.

The girls were reportedly holding hands as they jumped.

The inquiry heard Neve saw her father Paul Lafferty being stabbed three years earlier, when she was about 11 years old.

'Covered in blood'

She had apparently witnessed an argument between him and another man, Brian Folan, at Mr Lafferty's house in Paisley.

Her mother Collette Bysouth, 41, said: "She told me that she heard all the screaming and tried to look out of a window.

"She saw all of the chaos and she saw Brian lying there. He is the man who died that day.

"She saw her father with stab wounds and covered in blood."

Mr Lafferty had 17 stab wounds and was in intensive care for around four months, the inquiry heard.

He was tried for the murder of Mr Folan but was found not guilty.

Ms Bysouth told the inquiry her daughter had always been a "daddy's girl".

She said she later found a letter under Neve's mattress, after she had cut her own wrists, which said she had "never gotten over" what had happened to her father.

It added that she "always knew he would die soon but I had to be first".

The inquiry, in front of Sheriff Ruth Anderson QC, heard that Neve believed her father was going to "drink himself to death".

The Good Shepherd Centre cares for young girls referred by local authority educational and psychological services, social work departments and children's hearings.

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