Nelson teenager in hanging tragedy: inquest

"KIND AND THOUGHTFUL": Sohail Hussain (S)
"KIND AND THOUGHTFUL": Sohail Hussain (S)

A “KIND and thoughtful” Nelson student gave no indication to his family or teachers that he was going to hang himself, an inquest heard.

Sohail Hussain (16), a popular student at Marsden Heights Community College, died on May 27th after he was found hanging in his bedroom in Larch Street by his brother. A post mortem examination was carried out by Dr Abdul Al-Dawoud and an inquest adjourned so toxicology tests could be carried out.

On Tuesday, the inquest heard that while Sohail, known by his friends as “Shirley”, was working hard for his GCSE exams, and there had been fractured relationships at home, he had never shown signs he would want to take his own life.

In the two weeks before his death, Sohail had been complaining of headaches while studying hard for his 11 exams, and had been reunited with his father, Iftikhar Hussain, who had moved back to of Pakistan for a short period in February.

According to a statement from Sohail’s mum, Fozia Shaukat, she and Sohail’s dad, who were brought together via an arranged marriage, were separated. While Sohail’s two brothers were “not ready” to meet their dad on his return, Sohail and his two sisters had decided to spend time with him at his cousin’s house.

When Sohail got home after the first meeting, the student, who wanted to become an engineer, was said to have “smiled and said it had gone well”.

It was also heard that Sohail was not as “academically gifted” as his brothers, something about which he was “very conscious”. He would attend extra classes at school to try to improve his grades, and his headache was put down to pre-exam nerves.

In her statement, and talking at the inquest, Ms Shaukat said: “I truly felt he was just panicking. Many people in the community and in the family have asked ‘why?’. I don’t have the answer.

“I know he was feeling stressed because of exams. I know he has had a fractured relationship with his father, but there was no indication it hadn’t gone well.

“He had said to me ‘I don’t want to open my results and find out I didn’t do good’. He was constantly thinking about it. He really, really wanted to do good.”

Following his death, data was retrieved from Sohail’s phone and laptop, and it was revealed a search had been made in Google from his mobile phone about suicide.

After hearing from witnesses, East Lancashire coroner Richard Taylor felt he had no choice but to record a narrative verdict, saying: “Sohail Hussain died on 27th May 2012, having suspended himself in his bedroom in Larch Street. He had given no indication of any intention to end his life.”

Prior to the inquest, Ms Shaukat paid tribute to her son, and encouraged other parents to talk to their children about any pressures they may be under. She said: “My son’s death is something which I may never be able to come to terms with fully.

“Sohail was a wonderful son, kind and thoughtful to everyone he met. There were no obvious warning signs or indication of what he was going to do. I hope no other parent and family has to experience the pain of losing a child so tragically.”