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Girl, 17, saw her uncle hang himself.

Byline: Jessica Mangold

A 17-year-old girl watched in horror as her depressed uncle hanged himself from the balcony of his Stockton flat.

Giving evidence at the inquest into Paul Hampson's death, Kelly Cockerill described how the 35-year-old threw her to the floor, then ordered her to watch as he produced a rope at Blacksail Close.

The inquest at Teesside Coronor's Court was told the unemployed waste collector committed suicide in full view of his neighbours, two years after he was diagnosed with depression.

Describing the hours leading up to his death Kelly explained how her uncle had telephoned her at her Park End home, shortly before 2pm on Sunday June 23, last year.

She said: "I met him at a bus stop in Stockton High Street and he seemed agitated."

Despite going back to his flat where they talked, when Kelly tried to leave, Mr Hampson became violent.

She said: "He hit me and said 'watch this', went outside and pulled down a rope - by the time I got back up he was just hanging.

"He had locked the door so I could not get out and the keys were in his back pocket. I was screaming and someone ran upstairs and kicked the door in."

Mr Hampson's 56-year-old mother, Marjorie Tilley, recalled how medication and visits to a psychiatrist had failed to improve her son's mental health.

In the months leading up to his death Mr Hampson was admitted to a Teesside hospital after he slashed his wrists.

Teesside Coroner Michael Sheffield said he was satisfied Mr Hampson intended to kill himself.

"Mr Hampson was severely troubled by his mental problems and depression and had complained that he was finding life so bad that he could not cope.

"He had written a note to his mother to that effect and in spite of all the help she gave him and the support of Kelly Cockerill he reached a stage where he could not go on."
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Title Annotation:News Local
Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Date:Sep 20, 2003
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