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Inquest Records Suicide After Teen's Death

Tuesday September 3 2013


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A TEENAGER hanged himself after a row when he was caught following a woman into a pub toilet, an inquest has heard.

Michael Wanjau, 18, took his own life in December 2012 after Natasha Murphy, a friend of his, raised the alarm on finding him behind her in the loo.

After screaming, Kevin Murphy, Natasha’s dad, calmed Michael down outside the Sir George Arms in Wombwell.

However, Michael was later found hanging near some outside steps at the pub and died in hospital a week later from a serious brain injury.

The inquest, held at Sheffield Coroner’s Court, heard the teenager had been living above the pub for three months, having previously been homeless and living in a tent in a park.

Mr Murphy told the inquest it was about 1.30am when Michael became involved in an argument ‘over something and nothing’.

Natasha went to the toilet and Michael followed her in.

Mr Murphy said Michael seemed ‘a bit upset’ and they both went outside, where they ‘chatted about bits and bobs’.

"I told him not to worry," Mr Murphy added. "He may have had a few drinks but didn’t seem intoxicated. He seemed all right when he went upstairs."

When Natasha went upstairs 15 minutes later, she saw Michael's body on the fire escape.

Mr Murphy pulled the teenager aside, shouted for help and tried to resuscitate him. Paramedics arrived, but Michael could not be revived.

Siobhan Kelly, assistant deputy coroner, said: "A number of friends, family members and staff had finished work and were having a drink together.

"There was a dispute between Mr Wanjau and Mr Murphy’s daughter.

"She went into the ladies and, a short time after, he went in as well. Natasha was cross about this and shouted at him. He appeared to accept it."

The inquest recorded a verdict of suicide.

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