Selston girl takes overdose after being suspended from school

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A TEENAGE Selston girl died from an overdose of pills she took after being suspended from school for two days, an inquest heard.

Tamlynn Bowler, of Penrose Court, had been ordered to stay away from Ashfield School following an incident in which she threw sandwiches at a teacher.

But worried about missing work in the weeks leading to her exams, and with a dream of joining the Royal Navy, the 15-year-old took an overdose of anti-depressant pills on 8th May and died at the Queen’s Medical Centre days later.

Ruling out any kind of bullying as a factor, deputy coroner for Nottinghamshire, Heidi Connor, sitting at Nottingham Coroner’s Court described it as an ‘impulsive action’ from a distressed teenager.

No history of stress or depression was found and a police investigation found no evidence to suggest she had any suicidal thoughts.

In a statement read out on behalf of her father, Andrew Bowler, the court was told that she had been excluded from the Sutton Road school on 4th May.

Her father said she had been angry at the school, and both Tamlynn and her mother Sonia visited the school on the Tuesday morning, 8th May- the first day of her exclusion after a bank holiday- in a bid to delay the suspension so she could concentrate on her exams.

But headteacher Richard Vasey stood by his decision and felt the action was appropriate.

Giving evidence at the inquest he spoke about the classroom incident in which sandwiches had been thrown at the English teacher, along with insults.

He said: “It reduced a staff member to tears and therefore it was a very serious incident so a fixed-term exclusion was appropriate.

“We were conscious of her concern over work, but the exams were not that week. The school is still getting over such a tragic event.

“No-one could imagine what would happen that day.”

Having returned home after their meeting, Mrs Bowler left Tamlynn on her own to go to work. She returned later to find her unconscious in the living room, before calling for an ambulance. Tamlynn had suffered seizures and was taken to King’s Mill Hospital.

Hours later she was transferred to the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham after it became clear she had taken an overdose.

It was heard how she had found the tricyclic anti-depressant pills in a drawer at home which had belonged to her father. He had been prescribed the pills but had up to 90 left over after stopping his course of medication.

Evidence of the pills were found in Tamlynn’s bag.

Tests and an MRI scan on Tamlynn found they had caused severe and irreversible brain damage. The difficult decision to withdraw treatment was made and Tamlynn died on the morning of 13th May.

Passing a verdict of death by misadventure, Miss Connor said: “What Tamlynn did could not have been predicted by anyone, by her parents, her school or by anyone else.

“Even if a parent had remained with her at home there is a chance she could still have done this.

“I’m easily satisfied that Tamlynn did not intend to take her life, it was the act of an impulsive teenager and like many teenagers, felt her problems were bigger than what they really were.”

Before bringing the inquest to a close, she commended Tamlynn’s parents for taking the decision to donate her organs.

Her mother Sonia said: “She was a very special gift and we wanted other people to be part of that gift. She was kind to others and we wanted her to help others. She was very special.”

Headteacher Richard Vasey said the school were now planning a memorial to Tamlynn.