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Teenager took his own life after failed relationship with first boyfriend

Zenon Bartlett boyfriend

A Hampshire teenager who had recently come out took his own life after relationship with his first boyfriend ended.

Zenon Bartlett, 16, was believed to be depressed and had called Childline. It is reported that they gave him advice and also offered to call an ambulance for him.

His mum discovered his body at their home in Botley after he hanged himself in his bedroom on September 6.

The inquest at Winchester Coroner’s Court heard he was in a relationship with university student James Hartman in the months before his death, but this ended when Mr Hartman decided the distance would mean their relationship had no future.

Lynda Bartlett, Zenon’s mother, described finding her son saying: ‘I had my lunch and just went upstairs and walked into the bedroom.

‘When I walked in and saw what he’d done I was screaming ‘no’ and just calling for help.

‘I went downstairs screaming for help. I phoned for an ambulance and ran upstairs with my mobile phone.

‘If I had thought for a minute that he would self-harm or he would come to us to say he was depressed we would have taken him to the doctor’s or I would pay for a counsellor.’

Mr Hartman told the inquest that Zenon had struggled for three years with a rumour spread about him and another boy.

‘He used to avoid going to a skate park close to us because people who spread the rumour hung out there and he said they would say stuff to him about it.’

Zenon’s friend, Harvey Wright, said he had come out as gay to him and a mutual friend, Alfie Rees, not long before his death.

He added: ‘I’m not homophobic, I did not think it was right for someone not to be who they are.’

Summing up the inquest, the coroner described the teenager as a ‘sensitive young man who was affected by the prospect of the end of his relationship’.

The coroner added that the teenager was showing ‘signs of emotional stress and probably signs of depression,’ and had intended to take his own life.

Paying tribute to her son, Mrs Bartlett said: ‘In his 16 years Zenon touched so many lives, we are so proud he was part of our family.

‘Our wish for this in the future is for people to not be afraid and to talk and get help if they are feeling low or suicidal.’

For confidential support call the Switchboard LGBT+ helpline on 0300 330 0630

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