A teenage chef was found hanged in his bedroom by his distraught mum just hours after she asked him to start paying rent, an inquest heard today.
Elliot Stapleton-Giddins, 18, was asked to start paying £200 month to mum Tracy if he wanted to continue living at the home they shared in Stony Stratford, Buckinghamshire.
The teenager, who worked as a chef for a Masterchef: The Professionals finalist, was reportedly very hard working, had a lovely girlfriend, Lily Avril and £2,500 in his account. He also did not give signs of suffering a mental illness so this is quite confusing for everyone, including the coroner who could not arrive at a conclusive verdict.
The only incident was likely to have triggered his action was a text message he and his mother exchanged before he was found hanging. His mother informed him via text message that he was to start paying rent of £200 a month. She said she did this to teach him how to be responsible.
His girlfriend, Lily, was having a text conversation with him until 2 a.m. the day he died and she revealed that he was upset about his mother’s text message. Ms Stapleton-Giddins, Elliot’s mother, lamented her son’s death and revealed that she made a mistake passing her message across via text message.
She said: “I was totally shocked. I shouldn’t have texted him, I should have spoken to him in person but I don’t think that was the reason.”
As the search for the motive for Elliot’s death continued, Elliot’s step-father, Mr Stapleton, told the coroner that Elliot had had problems with bullying in the past at St Paul’s Catholic School which he attended.
“I think he was bullied and I remember him saying to me that the situation had changed and that he was now the bully to some people and he had felt very bad about that,” he said.
The coroner, Elizabeth Gray recorded an open verdict due to lack of evidence.
She said: ‘It doesn’t seem to me that there was anything of any significance from what you’ve told me.
We all know about the text but there’s nothing to suggest it was of any great significance.
“Because of all that evidence and nothing significant, in order for me to find that Elliot took his own life I would have to find he intended to do so beyond all reasonable doubt – but from what I have heard I don’t have that evidence.
“We have a series of small incidents over time and a family reporting that generally Elliot was on an even keel. He was a sensitive person but nothing to suggest that this was intended on October 2.
“The conclusion that I will draw therefore is an open conclusion. We don’t have evidence either way that Elliot intended to take his own life.”