Pupil found dead hours after watching Channel 4 comedy on suicide

Rebecca Haley was left "upset and emotional" from series

A sixth former at a private boarding school was found dead just hours after being distressed by a Channel 4 black comedy about suicide and depression.

Rebecca Haley was left “upset and emotional” after watching the series Flowers.

The 18-year-old was found hanged in her room the following morning at Gresham’s School in Holt, Norfolk.

Rachel was just 18

Rebecca – who had suffered with mental health issues since she was 13 – watched the TV show with her friend.

The show, which focused on the dysfunctional lives of an eccentric family and dealt with issues including depression and suicide, was screened on the five days before the teen’s death.

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It starred Olivia Coleman – a former pupil at Gresham’s School – as well as Julian Barratt.

In the first episode a character makes a failed attempt to hang himself.

The coroner revealed Rebecca had a history of depression and self harm.

She added: “I am not satisfied to the criminal standard that Rebecca appreciated the consequences of her actions.

“I think there was a lot going on. She had seen a very emotional programme with her friend which had been on all week.

“It was noted by her friend that they were both upset by it. Her friend didn’t suffer from depression, but Rebecca did.

“She suffered from anxiety and low self-esteem and her friend mentioned she was sad about leaving school.

‘Traces of medication were found in her bloodstream which shows she was taking it, but we don’t know how often.

“It’s clear she was a highly intelligent girl. I get the impression that she thought very deeply about things. Intelligent people can over-think things.

“There was no note or any element of any planning. It was very sudden and I think she acted impulsively.”

Rebecca’s best friend, Hannah Rice, said in a statement that after they watched the last episode together, they both felt “upset and emotional” and had hugged each other before going to bed.

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In a statement, Hannah said that Rebecca was “fine” and had not said anything about wanting to take her own life.

She said: “She did not tell me or indicate in any way that she needed to talk.”

Coroner Blake added: “The school kept an eye on her and were aware of her problems. She was much loved at home. It is one of those tragic things.”