The father of a student who killed herself in her halls of residence said the family didn’t know about her previous suicide attempt.

Ceara Thacker, 19, was found dead in her University of Liverpool accommodation at around 11.30pm on May 11 last year.

Her dad Iain Thacker told Liverpool’s Gerard Majella Courthouse she had struggled with her mental health from the age of 13.

She had self-harmed as a young teenager and was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder following a sexual assault, for which she underwent therapy.

However, Mr Thacker said the family were not aware she’d been hospitalised after a suicide attempt during her time at university in February 2018.

He told the inquest: ‘Ceara’s death was a horrible, terrible shock to us all.

Advertisement

Advertisement

‘We had no idea that she was struggling so much, if we had known what was going on we would have made sure our daughter was properly supported.’

Mr Thacker said he did not understand why the university had not contacted them, particularly as she had told them she was having difficulty with her mental health.

He continued: ‘We don’t know why Ceara didn’t feel able to tell us what was going on. However, we feel very strongly that someone in a position of responsibility needed to ask her if she wanted us to be told.

‘Someone needed to recognise that they were dealing with a really vulnerable 19-year-old who was living away from home for the first time, who wasn’t thinking straight, who wasn’t coping and who needed her family to support her.

‘If we had been told what was happening with Ceara we would have made a difference.’

Ceara was described by her family as a ‘perceptive, intelligent, loyal, funny and extremely kind young woman’.

Thieves stole toddler's vital life saving equipmentThieves steal disabled toddler's life-saving medical kit while family is at hospital

On the morning of her death she had expressed her upset at the death of Frightened Rabbit singer Scott Hutchison, who took his own life.

She wrote on Twitter: ‘Honestly got no words, am so upset. What awful news to wake up to.’

The inquest heard the teenager had stopped taking anti-depressant medication about three months before her death because it made her feel like a ‘robot’.

Her friend Aidan Flynn had been with her at the library in the early hours of May 11, leaving her to go home at about 2.30am.

Advertisement

Advertisement

She later messaged him on Snapchat to tell him she was home, but then said she had cut herself.

The pair continued to message throughout the day on Snapchat and Facebook, and shortly before 11pm she sent him a message apologising for being emotional.

Aidan then went to Ceara’s flat when she stopped responding, and he and one of her flatmates contacted residential adviser Imogen Webb after there was no answer at her door.

She gained access to the room and called emergency services when Ceara was found.

The inquest is expected to last for six days.