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Somerset teenager found dead ‘a popular schoolmate’

By Western Gazette - North Dorset  |  Posted: February 14, 2013

Millicent Waddell who hanged herself at her home in Somerset

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A SOMERSET school has paid tribute to a “popular” teenager found dead at her home near Yeovil.

Millicent Waddell, 16, known as Milly, took her own life at her mum’s home in Norton-sub-Hamdon last May.

She was found hanging after writing a note saying simply: “I’m sorry.”

A statement from Sexey’s School, Bruton, released after an inquest into her death last week, said: “Milly attended Sexey’s School from September 2005 – June 2011, a boarder who in her time here got involved in all aspects of school life including Feast Nights, Carol Services and Speech Day.

“She was keen at sport, representing both school and Hobhouse (Blue House) at hockey, netball, athletics and cross-country.

“She was an able student who did well at her GCSEs and was a reliable tutor group member who helped with the smooth running of the tutor base.

“Popular with her peers, she was a bright and sociable student who never had time to be bored.”

The tragedy happened just weeks after Milly returned home to Somerset after spending seven months living with her father, Robert.

East Somerset Coroner Tony Williams said Milly’s parents, who were separated, “recognised she was angry with her situation but had no idea that she would self-harm in any way.”

Milly’s mother, Louise-Kate Foster, made the heart-breaking discovery when she came home from an evening meeting. Neither parent was at the brief hearing at Shepton Mallet last week.

Paraphrasing Mrs Foster’s statement, Mr Williams said Milly had wanted to stay on in London but “but things didn’t work out with regard to her staying with her father so she came back in early April to live with her mother in Somerset and was in the process of deciding whether she wanted to go to college locally or find a job.”

On the day of the tragedy Milly’s mother returned home from work at 5.40pm and sometime later heard the shower. After cooking and eating supper she knocked on the bathroom door and got no reply but was not concerned and went out to walk a dog, coming back around 7.20pm. There was nothing to cause her concern and she went to a pre-arranged meeting and did not return until 9.15pm. The bathroom door was still locked and she became anxious, considered all the options and decided to force the door and found Milly hanging. Mr Williams recorded a verdict that Milly took her own life.

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