Teenager 'hanged herself after telling friends she had been raped'
Teenager, 17, hanged herself hours after telling friends she had been raped while they were at party, inquest hears
- Megan Younger-Watson, 17, was allegedly raped while drunk after visiting a pub
- Inquest also heard she had witnessed a violent mugging and tried to help victim
- Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich was told she was found dead next morning
- Friends said she was left ‘distraught’ by the ‘rape’ but CPS did not charge suspect
- Coroner identified ‘missed opportunities’ to help her fragile state prior to death
- For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit samaritans.org
A teenager was found hanged after revealing she had been raped just hours earlier, an inquest heard.
Megan Younger-Watson, 17, was allegedly raped at a party after she spent the evening drinking and taking drugs with friends at a pub.
Suffolk Coroner’s Court in Ipswich heard how she was ‘distraught’ when she told friends of the attack as they walked home from the party in a flat.
She was found dead the next morning in her room at supported housing accommodation hostel Christchurch House in Ipswich, Suffolk.
Detective Inspector Daniel Connick of Suffolk Police said the alleged rape had been investigated and a male suspect was identified after Megan’s death.
He was never brought to court after the Crown Prosecution Service decided against bringing charges, the hearing was told.
Megan Younger-Watson, 17, was allegedly raped at a party in February 2019 and was found dead in her room the next morning, an inquest heard
But Det Insp Connick said it was ‘apparent’ that Megan would have been ‘too intoxicated’ to consent to sex.
He also revealed that she had been in a same sex relationship at the time she died on February 16, 2019.
Megan’s mother, Natashia Younger-Watson, told the inquest she felt more could have been done to protect her daughter on the night she died.
The coroner also identified a number of ‘missed opportunities’ on how to deal with Megan in her fragile state.
The inquest heard on Tuesday how Megan’s medical cause of death was given as compression of the neck, consistent with hanging.
Tests revealed she had taken cocaine, MDMA and Xanax – a drug used to treat anxiety – the previous evening, but her alcohol levels were below the legal drink-drive limit.
Suffolk senior coroner Nigel Parsley said Megan had also witnessed a violent mugging and had intervened to help the victim.
Suffolk senior coroner Nigel Parsley said at her inquest Megan had also witnessed a violent mugging and had intervened to help the victim, which would have added to her trauma before her death
He said the incident outside the Grinning Rat pub in Ipswich where Megan and her friends had spent the evening would have added to the night’s trauma.
Mr Parsley recorded a conclusion of death misadventure,
He said Megan would have been ‘too distraught from the events of the previous evening to make any rational decision to end her own life’.
The coroner also said that her mental health issues made her prone to impulsive acts.
The inquest was told how Megan, who was described by her family as ‘beautiful, polite and funny’, was studying performing arts at Suffolk New College in Ipswich.
They also heard she had been diagnosed with PTSD after an abusive relationship in her early teens.
She moved to Christchurch House for more independence while seeking help for anxiety and depression, which had led to her self-harming and attempting overdoses in the past.
A few days before she died, Megan was warned she may be evicted from the hostel due to concerns about her mental wellbeing, engagement with GPs and medication.
Megan, described by her family as ‘beautiful, polite and funny’, was studying performing arts at Suffolk New College in Ipswich and was living in supported accommodation
Phyl Chigome, the service manager at Christchurch House, said he decided against evicting her after being satisfied with her future plans following a meeting with her mother and key worker.
Megan went out to celebrate being allowed to stay, and went with friends to the Grinning Rat pub on the night of February 15, 2019 – which has since closed down.
Friends told the inquest that the group had been drinking and taking drugs, while Megan, who rarely went out, told one friend she ‘didn’t know what she was doing’.
The group then went to a party in a flat, where Megan reported being raped.
Fellow residents of Christchurch House described carrying Megan back to the hostel where CCTV showed her in a corridor in an intoxicated state.
Megan was carried upstairs twice by the night concierge and was last seen on CCTV at around 8am entering her partner’s room where an argument started.
She later calmed down and returned to her own room, the inquest was told.
Friends dialled 999 at around 10am after getting no response from her room.
The inquest heard how paramedics and police found her dead inside after breaking the door down and were unable to revive her.
Megan’s mother, Natashia Younger-Watson, said she felt more could have been done to protect her daughter on the night she died.
The inquest heard there was no staff member on site between 6.30am and 1pm on Saturdays.
Coroner Mr Parsley recorded a conclusion of death misadventure at Suffolk coroner’s court in Ipswich (pictured, stock image) after hearing that cause of death was compression of the neck, consistent with hanging
Ms Younger-Watson said she was concerned nobody in charge was alerted to her daughter’s mental state and questioned why she was left alone, despite still being a child.
Mr Chigome said the concierge had tried to ensure Megan was safe, but the inquest heard how he had not contacted the on-call manager over any concerns.
The coroner pointed to two ‘missed opportunities’ where advice was not sought from NHS 111 about how to deal with Megan, and the duty manager not informed.
He also raised concerns about the extent of CCTV coverage in Christchurch House and said he would be requesting more information about it, requiring a response within 28 days.
Mr Parsley said he felt Megan’s behaviour on the night before she died seemed ‘out of character’.
Her father, Stuart Haggar, said she appeared to have turned a corner and had been on a ‘confident road to adulthood’ in the year before she died.
He said she had starting driving lessons and was enjoying her college course.
Megan’s mother paid tribute to her after her death, saying she was ‘beautiful, inside and out’ and was ‘thriving’ in the weeks before she died.
She told the Ipswich Star newspaper: ‘Megan was one of the most wonderful, bubbliest, happiest people you’d ever meet.
‘She put everyone before herself, that’s why there’s been such a big tribute to her. She was absolutely amazing.’
Ms Younger-Watson said her daughter was known for her striking looks, red lipstick and long red nails.
She added: ‘She was a typical teenager, she knew best. She was stubborn, she tested our relationship and the boundaries quite a few times.
‘She had such an infectious laugh. If she laughed, you had to laugh too. She was an entertainer, Megan liked to be the centre of attention – she is now bless her – but you’d know her for five minutes and fall in love with her. She broke so many hearts.
‘She’d been through a lot, she’d been part of a gang at one point and broke away from them. I was incredibly proud of her, she was a very strong girl.
‘Megan was animal crazy, loved kids, loved people, she wanted to help everybody.
‘She’s the sort of person who would drop all her shopping and help an old lady across the road, she was one of those people.’
- For confidential support call the Samaritans on 116123 or visit a local Samaritans branch, see www.samaritans.org for details.
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