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Patrick Roberts: teen found dead in woods "had so much to look forward to"
A "lovable" teenager who "had so much to look forward to" was found hanged in South Oxhey but did not intend to take his own life, an inquest heard yesterday.
Patrick Roberts was discovered in woods near Ashburnham Drive on December 3 after his disappearance was reported to the police.
Friends of the 15-year-old, who attended the Harefield Academy, had received messages from him saying that he had taken some pills and had a noose around his neck.
Patrick, of Oakfield Road, in Maple Cross, was described as young man who had a rich future ahead of him.
He had been on anti-depressant medication, fluoxetine, for about one month before his death, Hertfordshire Coroners’ Court was told. His mother passed away when he was 10 months old.
Speaking after the inquest, Patrick’s father, Simon Roberts, said: "Patrick was a kind, gentle, fun-loving, very intelligent boy who was growing up to be a handsome, lovable young man with a keen sense of fun.
"Just days before he passed away we spoke of his future choices for further education and university. He had so much to look forward to.
"Patrick simply made every bodies life better just by being around. I cannot find the words to fully express how much he was loved and how much he is now missed by his family and his friends. The fifteen wonderful years that Patrick was with us will be treasured by us all forever."
Hertfordshire Constabulary was alerted to Patrick’s disappearance after staff at the Harefield Academy, in Northwood Way, called the Metropolitan Police on the morning of December 3.
Stephen Logan, police constable at South Oxhey Police Station, told the inquest that he began searching for Patrick when he came on duty at midday.
PC Logan recounted how he found Patrick’s body in the wooded area, off Ashburnham Drive, at about 12.50pm.
He told the inquest that he saw Patrick from a distance, adding: "I shouted as loud as I could but there was no response."
PC Logan approached Patrick’s body, but he could find no pulse.
A bag was found on the ground near Patrick’s body. In it, there were two empty packets of 12, 400 milligram tablets of ibuprofen.
Hatfield Coroner's Court
Postmortem results revealed that Patrick had ibuprofen, paracetemol, codeine and fluoxetine in his system.
Coroner, Graham Danbury said that these drugs were at a "therapeutic" level and that there was "no indication" that he had taken them in excess.
The police examined Patrick’s phone after his death and found text messages had been sent to his friends that morning, the last of which was timed at 9.27am.
Officers also looked at Patrick’s laptop, and found that in October and November he had been looking at sites "that might give an indication about how one can take one’s own life", Mr Danbury explained.
Detective Sergeant Luke Whinnett, of the child protection team, told the inquest that a series of messages were also found on Patrick’s computer to family and friends.
Mr Danbury told Patrick’s friends and family, many of whom were at the inquest yesterday, that the teenager appeared to have their "care and support", but that he kept a lot to himself.
Mr Danbury said: "You have seen the messages that he left on the computer. Clearly he was deeply appreciative of the love and support he had but he got himself in the situation that morning where he felt he wanted to do something."
Mr Danbury said that he had been informed that Patrick could be a "drama queen" and had a tendency to over-exaggerate.
Mr Danbury spoke of the text messages that Patrick had sent friends which told them that he had taken 50 pills of ibuprofen and was in a tree.
He said: "That doesn’t seem to me someone who deliberately intended to take his own life.
"His own actions ended his life but I don’t know that it was his intention to commit suicide. He physically did what was necessary but he was not doing a set out plan to end his own life."
A narrative verdict was given, with the cause of death being listed as suspension.
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