Megan Younger-Watson inquest: Ipswich drama student hangs her self hours after telling friends she had been raped. Could suicide have been avoided?
A British college ‘drama’ student was found hanged after revealing she had been raped just hours earlier, an inquest heard.
Megan Younger-Watson, 17, told friends she was distraught after being sexually assaulted at a party Feb. 15, 2019, in Ipswich — just hours before she was found dead in her hostel, the Ipswich Star reported.
Megan’s medical cause of death was given as compression of the neck, consistent with hanging.
The teen’s death, the subject of an inquest at the Suffolk County Coroner’s Court determined that Younger-Watson had cocaine, Ecstasy, and Xanax in her body when she died — but relatively low levels of alcohol.
Police later identified her alleged attacker but declined to press charges, although Suffolk Police Det. Inspector Daniel Connick acknowledged it was ‘apparent’ that Younger-Watson had been ‘too intoxicated’ to consent to sex, The Sun said in a report Wednesday.
Investigators declined to pursue charges against individual alleged to have sexually assaulted drama student
Det Connick also revealed Younger Watson had been in a same sex relationship at the time she died on February 16, 2019.
Investigators later declined to bring charges against the individual thought to have sexually assaulted Younger-Watson.
‘Megan was one of the most wonderful, bubbliest, happiest people you’d ever meet,’ her mother, Natashia Younger-Watson, told The Sun. ‘She put everyone before herself. That’s why there’s been such a big tribute to her. She was absolutely amazing.’
The teen, a drama student at Suffolk New College in Ipswich, had a history of anxiety and depression and was facing eviction from the Christchurch House hostel.
The drama student had moved to the hostel for more independence while seeking help for anxiety and depression, which had led to her self-harming and attempting overdoses in the past.
Younger-Watson was warned she faced being asked to leave the residence due to concerns about her mental wellbeing, engagement with GPs and medication.
Phyl Chigome, the service manager at Christchurch House, said he decided against evicting her after being satisfied with her future plans following a meeting with her mother and key worker, the dailymail reported.
Death by misadventure
The night before her death, Younger-Watson went out to celebrate with friends for a night of partying at the Grinning Rat pub, and joined the group at a party at a local apartment when the bar closed at midnight.
The teen rarely went out and told a friend she ‘didn’t know what she was doing.’
After telling her friends of the assault, Younger-Watson was twice carried upstairs by the night manager at the hostel, but was ultimately left alone. At 10 a.m. the next morning, her friends called the police because she was not answering her door.
Police broke the door down and found her unresponsive, the reports said.
Suffolk senior coroner Nigel Parsley recorded a conclusion of death misadventure.
He said Megan would have been ‘too distraught from the events of the previous evening to make any rational decision to end her own life’.
The coroner also said that her mental health issues made her prone to impulsive acts.
Megan’s mother, Natashia Younger-Watson, said she felt more could have been done to protect her daughter on the night she died.
The inquest heard there was no staff member on site between 6.30am and 1pm on Saturdays.
Ms Younger-Watson said she was concerned nobody in charge was alerted to her daughter’s mental state and questioned why she was left alone, despite still being a child.
Mr Chigome said the concierge had tried to ensure Megan was safe, but the inquest heard how he had not contacted the on-call manager over any concerns.
The coroner pointed to two ‘missed opportunities’ where advice was not sought from NHS 111 about how to deal with Megan, and the duty manager not informed.