Family speaks of love for tragic Matlock teen

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A troubled teenager referred to by his loving family as the ‘heart of Matlock’ met a tragic end after making a plea for help – an inquest has heard.

Simrandeep Singh Sher, known as ‘Simran’ to family and friends, was found hanged in his flat in Lime Grove Walk, Matlock, on September 3 last year.

On Tuesday, Chesterfield coroner’s court heard how on the afternoon in question, close friend and neighbour Ricky Dunne had gone to check on the 18-year-old after his support worker Emily Baguley had not been able to get hold of him.

Finding his front door unlocked, Mr Dunne described how he had entered the living room of the property to find Simran hanging.

Crying in the courtroom, Mr Dunne described Simran as being ‘like a brother’ to him.

He said: “I can’t see why he would do it really.

“He was an amazing person. He was always happy.”

An ambulance was called and on the advice of the emergency services, Simran was cut down.

Mr Dunne ran outside and stopped a passing police car for help, however despite the efforts of police and paramedics Simran was unresponsive and he was declared dead at 3.53pm.

A subsequent police investigation recovered no suicide note from the scene.

The last person believed to see Simran before he died was his mother, Anita Wyke.

She described how her son had come to see her the night before and she had tried to talk to him about what he was doing with his life.

“He got angry and said ‘I have come to spend time with you, not to have a lecture’ and he went,” she said.

Mrs Wyke became increasingly worried when he didn’t answer his phone to her and she said she had not been able to get to sleep that night.

“I called my sister and I said I don’t feel right, I feel something’s wrong,” she added.

Simran had moved to Matlock in 2010 with his family and had attended Highfields School. He was very popular but was described as having got ‘in with the wrong crowd’ and had been known to be a drug user.

He had wanted to be a police dog handler and had taken GCSEs with the hope of pursuing that career.

Mrs Wyke said that in 2012 Simran had told her he wanted to move out so he could be independent and he had got the flat in Lime Grove Walk.

She continued: “I knew Simran inside out. He’d tell me everything.

“To me it wasn’t suicide. It was a cry for help because Simran suffered from depression and mental health problems.”

She added that she imagined Simran had hoped he’d be found and people would ask him what was wrong.

Mrs Wyke said her son had been ‘happy as Larry’ and was always one to keep his own problems inside and help others with their problems.

Speaking after the inquest, she said: “They called him ‘Saint Simran’.”

Coroner James Newman said: “I’m satisfied with the evidence before me that Simran hadn’t meant to take his own life.”

He explained that Simran had died as a result of a blocking of the airway as a result of the shoelace around his neck.

Mr Newman said he would have slipped into an unconscious state, much like falling asleep, and had subsequently died as a result of a lack of oxygen to the body.

Mr Newman said: “On September 3 2014 Simran was found unresponsive at his home address.

“Resuscitation attempts by attending police officers were unsuccessful and Simran was declared dead at 3.53pm.”

He recorded an open conclusion.

To speak to your local branch of the Samaritans, call 08457 90 90 90.