‘Everything has changed’ say the family of Hopton teenager Jessica Collins who took her own life

A teenage girl who was 'always smiling' took her own life after fearing a text message had ended a friendship, an inquest heard.

Jessica Collins, 14, was found unresponsive on her bunk bed having taken an overdose in the room she shared with her younger sister.

Norfolk area coroner Yvonne Blake recorded a conclusion of suicide and noted that an incident involving a text message sent by Jessica appeared to have been the trigger.

Jessica had also been upset after her grandmother Carol Wilson died of cancer, the inquest at Norfolk Coroner's Court in Norwich heard.

Ms Blake said friends described having a conversation with Jessica the day before her death about a text message which was allegedly sent by Jessica around Christmas time.

Jessica eventually admitted sending the text, the inquest heard, though the contents of the alleged message were not disclosed at the hearing.

'Her friends said she was apologetic for not telling them and was disappointed in herself,' she said. 'They spoke to her about not telling the truth again and she was worried the friendship would be over.'

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Ms Blake said Jessica had 'felt she was fat and ugly despite all the evidence to the contrary'.

'Youngsters nowadays seem to be incredibly pressured, especially by things like Facebook and telephone messages,' she continued. 'On the evidence I've seen, Jessica had been thinking like this for a while and kept it very much to herself, not even telling her friends.

'Then she had the upset with the texting and that seems to have been the final straw.

'I do think she intended to take her own life.

'It's very sad she didn't feel she could talk to anyone.

'I expect she didn't want to worry people.'

Her step-father John Collins said in a written statement: 'Jessica was very upset at the funeral of her grandmother, in floods of tears.

'We would find notes in her bedroom about her saying she missed her nan and wanted to be with her.'

He said she was a 'happy, intelligent, considerate and kind girl' and would look after other children at school if they were upset.

She lived in Old Church Road, Hopton with him, her twin brother, younger sister and mother Leanne, who has a spinal condition and walks with a stick.

On the day before her death Jessica had got the bus home from Cliff Park Academy in Gorleston near Great Yarmouth, had fish fingers and beans for dinner then went to her room.

Her step-father checked on her that evening and saw her on top of the covers, then found her unresponsive the following morning, on July 6, 2016.

A post-mortem examination found she died of drug toxicity, and a police investigation found a box with various medications in it beneath her bed, although she was not on any prescriptions.

Police ruled there was no third party involvement and no criminal investigation is to be brought.

Praise from teachers was read out at the inquest, including one who said Jessica was 'incredibly intelligent' and another who said she was 'always smiling'.

Her family said after the hearing: 'We love and miss Jessica terribly. Everything has changed.'

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