Student sent Snapchat message saying 'why am I crying' hours before being found dead at Leeds golf club

Entrance to Gotts Park Golf Club on Armley Ridge Road, Leeds.Picture: Google
Entrance to Gotts Park Golf Club on Armley Ridge Road, Leeds.Picture: Google
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A young man with a bright future took his own life at a golf course in Leeds after sending a friend messages to say he couldn’t cope, an inquest heard.

Leeds Beckett University student Dewi Turton had already previously attempted to take his own life several months before he was found hanged in the grounds of Gotts Park Golf Club in Armley in May this year.

A coroners court heard on Tuesday how the 20-year-old had “never mentioned that he felt depressed or anxious or had mental health worries” before his first attempt to end his life with an overdose earlier in 2019.

A statement from Dewi’s father Keith Turton read at Wakefield Coroners Court also describes how his son, who was an experienced climber and studying Sports and Exercise Science, “didn’t speak much to his parents” about the earlier overdose.

On May 20 this year, Mr Turton had gone on a night out in Leeds with university friends before returning home to Walker House student accommodation on Broad Lane, Kirkstall, at around 6am the following morning.

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The court heard that a short while later, he had messaged his friend Caitlyn Douglas over social media app Snapchat, saying, "why am I crying?” and "I hate my head".

A statement from Ms Douglas which was read out in court said: “I never thought anything was untoward.

“He would open messages and just ignore them. I rang security and asked them to check on him, but he was not in his room.

“He rang me and just cried down the phone and wouldn’t speak to me. I kept sending messages and he was opening them and not replying.”

Dewi was reported as a high-risk missing person the same morning and his body was discovered at the golf course on Armley Ridge Road at 6pm on Tuesday, May 21.

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Dewi, originally from Sheffield, was described in a statement from his father as "a sociable, respectable and pleasant young man who was passionate about climbing". The student was also involved in charity work and worked at The Climbing Lab in Leeds.

Ms Douglas also described her friend as "a very bubbly, outgoing person who never worried about appearances or what people thought of him".

Her statement added, "he never mentioned that he felt depressed or anxious, or had mental health worries" until he had previously attempted suicide months earlier.

The court heard a post-mortem revealed Mr Turton had been heavily intoxicated at the time of his death.

Coroner Kevin McLoughlin said: "Dewi Turton had a history of low mood and had previously taken an overdose."

A verdict of death by suicide was recorded.

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