Tragic stu­dent had spo­ken of sui­cide in Face­book post

Kentish Gazette Canterbury & District - - Dreadful Secret Of Reed Pond - By Alex Clar­idge aclar­idge@thek­m­ @clar­idgealex

A gifted guitarist and Can­ter­bury Col­lege stu­dent with a his­tory of de­pres­sion hanged him­self in wood­land close to his home, an in­quest has heard.

Toby Parkin­son, 20, was dis­cov­ered in the Old Park be­hind the Po­ets Es­tate on the night of May 31.

He posted on Face­book the night be­fore: “I’ve come to the con­clu­sion that I’m not go­ing to have a mid-life cri­sis. My life is a [ex­ple­tive] cri­sis.”

Mr Parkin­son, who lived in a shared house in Forrester Close and had a his­tory of de­pres­sion, was found on June 1 by a boy walk­ing through the Old Park.

PC Stu­art Mil­roy was the first of­fi­cer at the scene and dis­cov­ered a let­ter in his pocket, which led po­lice to­wards Mr Parkin­son’s iden­tity.

Det Sgt Lewis Tompsett car­ried out the in­ves­ti­ga­tion into Mr Parkin­son’s death.

He said: “The Face­book mes- sage he left at a lit­tle af­ter 11.30pm on May 31 may be in­dica­tive of a per­son with de­pres­sive ten­den­cies.

“His body had no de­fen­sive wounds or marks and there was no ev­i­dence of third-party in­volve­ment.

“The me­chan­ics of his death sug­gest he was in­tend­ing to end his own life.”

A post-mortem test showed that Mr Parkin­son had died from sus­pen­sion. He also had twice the le­gal driv­ing limit for al­co­hol in his sys­tem.

The hear­ing was told he had sought pro­fes­sional help for de­pres­sion and al­co­hol use and had been re­duc­ing his in­take.

His mother, Joy Parkin­son, said her son had gone to Drap­ers Mills Pri­mary School in Mar­gate and Dane Court in Broad­stairs.

He had be­come un­happy and de­pressed around the age of 15 and did not en­joy his sixth form stud­ies at the gram­mar school.

But Mrs Parkin­son said he be­came hap­pier when he trans­ferred to a music course, first at East Kent Col­lege and then at Can­ter­bury Col­lege.

How­ever, Mrs Parkin­son said her son’s moods were of­ten “up and down”.

She told coro­ner Alan Bluns­don: “Some­times he was very happy and some­times he was non-con­ver­sa­tional.

“He did not share with his fam­ily that he was sui­ci­dal. He wrote on Face­book that he was sui­ci­dal, but I thought that was more at­ten­tion seek­ing.

“The last time I saw him was about two or three weeks be­fore his death and he seemed quite up­beat.”

Mr Bluns­don recorded a con­clu­sion of sui­cide.

Toby Parkin­son had a his­tory of de­pres­sion

Toby Parkin­son

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