An inquest into the death of a Sunderland teenager has heard how he had previously intended to take his own life.
Keaton Burton, 19, was admitted as a voluntary patient at a Newcastle mental health unit when he was found dead in woodland off Toll Bar Road, Ryhope, on June 24 2019.
An inquest at Sunderland Coroner’s Court on Wednesday heard evidence from Keaton’s mum Jessica Talbot who recalled her interactions with her son in the days before his death.
An earlier hearing heard how Keaton had been staying at the the Fellside ward unit in Newcastle as a voluntary patient after an attempt to self-harm. He left the unit for a cigarette break on June 23 at around 10.30pm but never returned.
The 19-year-old was employed by Audi, enjoyed nights out attending music events and had bought a new laptop and DJ decks at Christmas.
However Ms Talbot said Keaton had a breakdown around the Christmas period, expressing an uncertainty over his career prospects.
She said: “He wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He was still trying to find a place with what he was happy doing.”
The hearing heard how how he had expressed suicidal thoughts and, around six weeks later, Ms Talbot had found a box containing a rope under his bed.
“He said that he bought it with intention of taking his own life. Things had got too much for him, he felt like he didn’t want to be here anymore,” she said.
Ms Talbot also said Keaton had begun to feel paranoid. She explained: “He thought that someone had hacked into his phone and social media.
“I had a discussion on what he had told us, I couldn’t ignore it and I would have to get help.”
Ms Talbot then contacted the NHS crisis team through 111.
Months later, on June 12, Keaton’s mum contacted the police after Keaton had left a note which said he was sorry and that he could no longer stay. Ms Talbot told the hearing that after he was found, Keaton told police that he had intended to take his own life.
It was then that the former Castle View Enterprise Academy pupil was admitted to the Tramwell Unit at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead on a voluntary basis.
“He said that he didn’t want to stay there and was concerned with how long he was going to be there,” Ms Talbot explained.
The hearing heard how a doctor had told Keaton that he may be able to discharge him within weeks, but Ms Talbot said she didn’t want him to leave as she would fear for his safety.
On June 23, Keaton’s friends visited him at the ward but he was later reported missing by the hospital. He was found at a relative’s house before he was taken home.
Police were on their way to the address to detain the teenager but Ms Talbot said: “Keaton came running down the stairs and went straight out the front door. He had a change of clothes and he had a backpack with him.”
Ms Talbot told the hearing she was unaware of Keaton’s intentions to leave but said he didn’t want to return to hospital.
Asked whether he should have been sectioned, Ms Talbot said he should have: “I think yes. I think back now although it would have been hard.”
The inquest continues.