Dark rap music about death and suicide may have encouraged much-loved Derbyshire teen to take his own life

Chesterfield coroners' court.
Chesterfield coroners' court.
  • Inquest hears William Musgrove, 14, was a rising rugby star and a ‘model student’
  • Coroner says dark American rap music about death and suicide ‘would have had an effect’ on William, who hanged himself in a Derbyshire village
  • Mystery surrounds exactly why he took his own life

Rap music about death and suicide may have encouraged a grade A schoolboy to take his own life, an inquest heard.

William Musgrove, 14, hanged himself in Ashover earlier this year.

William was a model student, sporty and generally happy

Family statement read by PC David McAllister, from Derbyshire police

His body was found after a desperate search by family – next to his mobile phone which was playing an American rap song about suicide and death on repeat.

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The teenager was a rising rugby star and described as a “model student” during Tuesday’s inquest at Chesterfield coroners’ court.

DC Sharon Wright, of Derbyshire police, told the court that investigations of William’s mobile phone revealed he had listened to rap songs about death and suicide in the months before he died.

He had also told friends he was depressed and had been to see his GP – but investigations found this to be untrue, DC Wright said.

PC David McAllister, of Derbyshire police, said family described William as a “model student, sporty and generally happy”.

The court heard William left his home in Malthouse Lane, Ashover, at about 6.30pm on Sunday, February 15, after a trivial family disagreement.

Coroner Dr Robert Hunter said police investigations revealed that William’s mother had told him to stop using the home’s wi-fi and he swore at her and pushed her aside.

Dr Hunter added: “She asked him to get out of the house to let him calm down and collect his thoughts – this was the first time he’d ever behaved in this manner.

“His mother assumed he’d gone to walk around and calm down but he didn’t come back.”

She phoned police to report William as missing and family mounted a desperate search for him.

William was found at Hard Meadow Lane early the following morning.

Dr Hunter recorded a narrative conclusion – meaning mystery surrounds exactly why William took his own life.

He said: “It would appear William was a grade A student with a good circle of friends.

“He had no previous history of depression or suicidal thoughts.

“He had a keen interest in American rap music – in particular the darker side of American rap music with lyrics relating to suicide and death.

“He would have been an impressionable teenager and this type of music would have had an effect on his way of looking at things.”

Dr Hunter added: “I can’t say why he did this – it was so out-of-the-blue, so out of character.

“Was it teenage experimentation?

“I can’t be satisfied that he intended to kill himself.”

Much-loved William, who was a student at Lady Manners School in Bakewell, played for the Bakelock rugby team and was described as a “key” member of the squad.

He was also in the Leicester Tigers Elite Player Development group at Mount St Mary’s College in Spinkhill.