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Ben’s love message before death plunge

Reporter: Robbie Gill
Date online: 28 January 2014

AN intelligent and articulate teenager left a heart-wrenching message to his girlfriend before jumping from a motorway bridge.

Crompton House school pupil Ben Fitchett (14) plunged from a bridge near junction 20 of the M62 on August 19, while on his way to his paper round, an inquest was told. He died from multiple injuries

Shortly before his death he rang his girlfriend and left a voice message to say he loved her - and that she deserved better.

The call followed her seeing a Facebook message saying he had been involved with another girl - though Ben had revealed he made it up, and the pair had already reconciled.

Ben had returned from a scout trip to Switzerland the day before his death and seemed in a positive mood, his parents said.

But they began to worry when he had failed to contact them by 9.30am, after leaving for his paper round at around 7am. Police answered Ben’s ringing phone and broke the news to his parents.

Speaking at the Heywood inquest, Ben’s father Peter said he had seen no sign that Ben was unhappy.

He said: “To us this was so out of character. If you asked if we could have changed anything, the answer is no.”

PC Helen Hallworth examined text messages and social media and found Ben had mentioned self-harming in messages to friends. The inquest also heard Ben had been confronted by his schooolmates about his self-harming on the way back from the trip.

Coroner Lisa Hashmi said Ben had taken his life in a spur-of-the-moment decision after becoming confused by his emotions.