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Last Updated: Friday, 8 February 2008, 14:34 GMT
Hanging mystery of girl, aged 12
Rachel Dennis (picture;
Rachel had been playing with her sister before the tragedy
The reason why a 12-year-old girl hanged herself remains a mystery, an inquest has heard.

Rachel Dennis told her five-year-old sister: "Tell Mummy I love her" before she hanged herself from a banister at home in Holyhead, Anglesey.

Coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones said at the Llangefni hearing that there was insufficient evidence whether it was suicide or accident.

He recorded a narrative verdict stating that Rachel hanged herself.

"It doesn't say accident and definitely not suicide, it's a factual statement," he said.

Mr Pritchard-Jones said there must be doubt about whether a child of 12 really intended to kill herself.

I consider with a child of 12 there must be doubt whether she really intended to kill herself or not
Coroner Dewi Pritchard-Jones

The inquest was told the sole witness to the tragedy was Rachel's five-year-old sister Chloe, with whom she had been playing in her brother's bedroom.

At the time Rachel's stepfather Michael Jobson had been dozing downstairs on a settee, while his wife Christine was at work.

Det Con Dana McConnell said Chloe had told her: "We were just playing games in my brother's bedroom and she said: 'Tell Mummy I love her' - and just did it."

She had tied the scarf around her neck and then the banister on the stairs.

Chloe said she had got scissors from a fruit bowl and tried to cut the scarf, said Det Cons McConnell.

The five-year-old then said: "I was going to tell my dad but I was too scared. Then I asked my dad if I could play one of my games on his computer."

She also told the police woman: "My dad didn't see anything, he was just on the couch sleeping."

'Laughing and smiling'

Mr Jobson, said in evidence that Rachel had been looking forward to visiting her aunt's in Nottingham the next day.

After lunch the girls had been playing happily upstairs and he had dozed off on the couch and then his wife returned from work.

"I went to the kitchen to switch the kettle on," he said. "Then Chloe said to Christine 'Rachel is not moving'."

He dashed upstairs to lift Rachel up and dialled 999. They tried to revive her without success.

Mrs Jobson told the coroner there had been no "feelings of unhappiness or morbid thoughts" expressed by Rachel, who was a pupils at Friars school in Bangor.

"She was always laughing and smiling," she added.

Aspects of a school report had been a bit disappointing, but she said she had told Rachel not to worry and they would work harder in the coming term.

It appeared that Rachel had quite deliberately put the scarf around her neck, he said.

But added: "However, Rachel was only 12 years old.

"Is it possible for a child of that age to have an absolute clear intention to cause her own death? They may change their minds two minutes later.

"I consider with a child of 12 there must be doubt, whether she really intended to kill herself or not, we really can't say."

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