Wem schoolboy wanted treatment despite previous suicide attempts, coroner hears

Reporter:

Barrie White

A teenage school pupil with Asperger syndrome wanted to receive vital treatment, despite attempting and researching how to end his life.

A coroner’s court heard that Jeff Antwis, 14, died on January 30 at Royal Stoke Hospital after he was hit at Harlescott level crossing at around 5.30am, leaving him with a severe traumatic brain injury.

At his inquest, which resumed today, his mother, Lorraine Antwis, told Shropshire coroner John Ellery that Jeff had been diagnosed with  high-functioning Asperger syndrome while still in primary school.

Ms Antwis told the court that in the weeks building up to his death, she had tried to get him seen by a psychiatrist after she had been made aware of two previous suicide attempt.

He had also tried to obtain items that would help him end his life.

She described her son as highly intelligent, caring, but said he would sometimes make jokes that others would not appreciate, leading to him feeling upset with himself.

The coroner’s court also heard that he confided in a family friend about his thoughts, and Jeff also gave details of his state of mind when he was assessed by medical staff in January, leading to Ms Antwis trying to bring forward a psychiatric assessment.

However, she told the court his mental health deteriorated again when the first available appointment was March 17, 2017 and said advice given to her was to remove dangerous or hazardous objects.

Dr Eleanor Adams, a close family friend, also gave evidence; she stated she was giving her statement in that context, rather than an expert through her role as psychiatrist working with adolescents.

She was seen as an ‘aunty’ to Jeff, with both families very close, and told Mr Ellery that she would often sit and talk to him when he stayed over.

He had told her he was frustrated by his ‘clown act’ which meant people did not see he had mental health problems and also at the delay in any possible treatment.

Dr Adams also told the court that her experience as medical forensic officer told her the injuries Jeff received were not in line with those who intent to commit suicide by train, and that she felt it was not his intention to end his life.

The inquest also heard from Di Cooper, Jeff’s specialist teaching assistant support from Thomas Adams School in Wem, and Dr Bindu Praveen, Jeff’s GP.

The inquest continues at Shrewsbury’s Shirehall. 

Email:

barrie.white@nwn.co.uk

See full story in the Whitchurch Herald

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