Woman took her own life after being bullied on Facebook, inquest hears

PUBLISHED: 15:28 21 September 2020 | UPDATED: 15:52 21 September 2020

Emma Gallagher's body was found in Southtown Common in Gorleston on May 6. Picture: Google Maps.

Emma Gallagher's body was found in Southtown Common in Gorleston on May 6. Picture: Google Maps.


A woman remembered by school friends as “smiling and friendly” took her own life after being bullied on Facebook, an inquest has heard.

Emma Gallagher, 37, was found dead on Southtown Common in Great Yarmouth on May 6.

An inquest into her death heard how she suffered from anxiety and depression and had been taunted by bullies on Facebook.

Norwich Coroners Court heard she had also been upset over the suicide of a friend, and had faked her death before she died, posting a live video that suggested she had taken her own life.

She was found at home in Yarmouth Way unharmed, but taken into custody for improper use of the telecommunications network, where her mental health was assessed.

It was said that although her mood was low there was no evidence of acute mental illness and that she had stated she had no intention of taking her own life as she had a 16-year-old daughter.

In a statement, her former wife Clare Gallagher expressed frustration that more had not been done for her.

She said she had looked “broken” in a video posted just weeks before her death and that her life had been “disregarded”.

Although she had had a difficult life, having two children taken away from her at a young age, she was keen to help others with mental health issues.

“I cannot stress what this bullying did to her mental health.

“I have never seen my wife look that broken.

“Three women knew how low she was feeling and they still continued bullying her,” she said.

Ms Gallagher was reported as a high risk missing person on May 6.

Her body was found by two police officers in woodland.

The inquest heard from a former schoolfriend who remembered her as a “smiling, friendly, girl who was always nice to everyone.”

She said had seen “very disturbing” posts that suggested “certain people were pushing her over the edge”.

If anyone tried to support her, her tormentors would give reasons why they should not, she said, adding that the only way to clear her name was to end her life.

Assistant coroner Catherine Wood said she was satisfied Ms Gallagher intended to take her own life.

She said the issue of social media was not a matter for the inquest adding: “It is clear that Facebook and other media outlets are not always used as best as they could be.”

If you need help and support, call Norfolk and Suffolk Foundation Trust’s First Response helpline 0808 196 3494 or the Samaritans on 116 123. Both services are available 24 hours 7 days a week. You can also download the Stay Alive app on Apple and Android.

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