Family insist teenager daughter took her own life and challenge ‘bizarre’ court decision
The family of a Barnsley teenager who lost her life one year ago have challenged a “bizarre” coroners court decision that concluded her death was not suicide.
Nineteen-year-old Eleanor Lomax, who was known as Elle or Ellie, was found in her bedroom by her mum Elaine on the morning of 17 February 2020 at the family home on Belmont Terrace.
An inquest into her death at Sheffield’s Medico Legal Centre last month concluded she died of misadventure, which means it was an accident.
Elaine said: "That just seems bizarre to me, I'm confused. How can you not mean to take your own life?
“I don't understand how Ellie wouldn't have meant to do it.”
In reaching her decision, assistant coroner Tanyka Rawden cited the absence of a suicide note and Ellie’s “impulsive” personality.
The family have written a letter of complaint to the coroner's office.
Ellie’s dad Chris added: "I think if she hadn't done it that night she would have done it another time.”
The former Penistone Grammar School pupil, who had been bullied since age 12, attempted to take her life on four occasions before she died, her parents said, and left a note twice.
The inquest was not told about a social media post from Ellie before her death, which could have eluded to her intentions, Elaine said.
She added: "We had been told all along it was cut and dried and it was a straight-forward suicide because of her mental health issues. We weren't prepared for that decision.
"We weren't asked for any sort of statement from ourselves. There's lots more information we could have given if we would have realised that that was a possible outcome.”
Government guidelines state the coroner decides who should give evidence to an inquest and whether any submissions are relevant to their investigation.
When reaching a verdict, the standard of proof a coroner needs is “on the balance of probabilities”.
On the impact of the decision, Elaine said: "I have just been really upset and I have been quite low.
“I just thought it would all be done with and it isn't. It will never be done with."
Chris added: “It brought up all of the emotions we felt in the immediate aftermath of Ellie's death.”