Coroner's criticism over photos of dying Dorset girl


A coroner has condemned the "shabby" actions of people who took mobile phone photographs of a teenage girl after she jumped from a multi-storey car park.

Robyn Nixon, 15, had suffered bullying by being excluded from a group of friends and had also broken up with her boyfriend, an inquest heard.

She died when she jumped from the car park in Weymouth, Dorset, on 11 April.

The coroner praised passers-by who tried to help her but said some took photographs as she lay dying.

The inquest in Dorchester heard she had previously threatened her former boyfriend and another male friend that she would take her own life.

She had been speaking to her ex-boyfriend in the minutes before she jumped from the top floor of the car park.

The boy, now aged 17, cannot be named, but had been in the town with his new girlfriend and went to the car park when Robyn phoned him.

But moments after arriving, Robyn ended the phone call and stepped off from the edge of the building.

Her former boyfriend rushed to her side but she had suffered massive head injuries and was declared dead in hospital shortly afterwards.

West Dorset coroner Michael Johnston said of the people who took photographs: "You can only presume something like this has never happened to them, but it does make you worried about humanity."

Psychological bullying

In a direct message to the passers-by who took photographs, he said: "This was a child's life and you were taking photos on your mobile phones.

"I'm sorry, but I think that is horrid and the people who did that ought to be ashamed of themselves."

Mr Johnson said nobody could know what was going through Robyn's mind in the moments before she jumped, but concluded that she took her own life.

Robyn's mother Sue Nixon, who wore a T-shirt bearing her daughter's image and the words "forget me not" on the front and the message "bullying stops here!" on the back, said she believed her daughter may have suffered from depression.

She said: "She wasn't going to school as she felt so isolated, because she'd had a falling-out with friends and she just felt that everybody hated her."

Mrs Nixon said her daughter was subject to "psychological bullying" rather than physical abuse, and had also been taunted on a social networking site while on holiday.

"I didn't know it was as bad as what it was until afterwards," she said.

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