A teenager who had been relentlessly bullied for being gay took his own life after being dumped by his first ever boyfriend.
Zenon Bartlett, 16, had just recently come out as gay after he had spent three years struggling with gay rumors about him and another boy.
His mother found his lifeless body hanging in his bedroom after ex-boyfriend James, ended their relationship.
James told an inquest in Winchester in Hampshire on Wednesday that Zenon had mentioned suicide before his death.
“He did mention it quite a lot,” James said.
“The first time I didn’t think he was being serious because he seemed happy so I didn’t know where he was getting his feelings from.”
“There are so many things I wish I’d done, like ringing him so I could speak to him.”
“I feel very bad about the whole situation.”
James told investigators that he had previously found Zenon in a wooded area with marks on his neck and string hanging from a tree, not long after their relationship ended.
“He never normally went there alone so I asked why he was there. I can’t remember his exact words but it was something along the lines of ‘I don’t want to be there anymore’. I kind of realized what was happening so I rushed outside and went there and found him sat on the log crying quite a lot.”
“I sat there for four or five hours with him talking. String was on the branch and he did have a red mark on his neck.”
“I had never met his family before. If I had, they would have been the first people I would have gone to. I said he needed to speak to a counselor or a therapist. He agreed and sent me a message saying he called some kind of helpline and said he made an appointment, I don’t know if he followed through.”
Mid-Hampshire Coroner, Grahame Short, said: “At the time of his death he was making plans to go to college and had ambitions to train as a lawyer.
“In common with all young people of his age, Zenon was in transition between childhood and adulthood.”
“He was trying new things like alcohol and tobacco, things adults use.”
“More significantly he had established that he was gay and he had formed a relationship with [redacted].”
“Leading up to his death there was an incident where his friend found him sitting opposite a tree with a piece of string on the tree. It may be it was a cry for help, it may be it was something else. It may be a trial run for what subsequently happened.”
“I find Zenon was a sensitive young man who was affected by the prospect of the end of his relationship. However, he was prior to that already showing signs of emotional stress and probably signs of depression.”
“Based on all this I conclude Zenon intended to take his own life and I am sure he knew the consequences of his actions. I record a conclusion of suicide.”
“Death in these circumstances leaves all sorts of emotions and feelings of missed opportunity. I would urge you not to go along that route and remember when Zenon was happy the good times with him.”
His mother said she hopes other young people and their parents will be better able to spot the signs of depression to stop the tragedy being repeated.