Page last updated at 17:14 GMT, Wednesday, 9 April 2008 18:14 UK

'No link' between pupils' deaths

Belinda Allen
Belinda was found by a dog walker near her home in Southwater

An inquest has found no link between the death of a West Sussex girl found hanged from a tree and a boy from the same school who died a year earlier.

The court heard Belinda Allen had a "troubled mind" and hanged herself on January 8 after years of self-harm.

Coroner's officer Lindon Langley said there was no connection between the 14-year-old's death and that of Ben Vodden, 11, who died in December 2006.

A verdict of suicide was recorded at West Sussex Coroner's Court.

This is a tragic case of a young girl who felt it necessary to take her own life
Coroner Penelope Schofield

Ben hanged himself after months of bullying at Tanbridge House School in Horsham.

A dog walker found Belinda, also a pupil at the school, hanging from a tree by a scarf near her home in Southwater.

But referring to Belinda's death Mr Langley said: "A thorough investigation by police found no evidence of abuse either within or outside the school."

The inquest heard that diaries and letters found in Belinda's bedroom after her death described her troubled mind.

Before her death she had confided in a teacher at her previous school that she often self harmed and a pathologist said there were marks on her body that indicated she had harmed herself.

The inquest was also told she had tried to take her life before by taking an overdose.

Recording her verdict Coroner Penelope Schofield said: "This is a tragic case of a young girl who felt it necessary to take her own life.

"I am certain that this is not a copy-cat suicide and there is no link to the death of another pupil at Tanbridge House School."

Bullying 'ruled out' over death
10 Jan 08 |  Sussex
Girl, 14, found hanging in park
09 Jan 08 |  Sussex
Hanged boy 'was bullied on bus'
19 Apr 07 |  Sussex

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