13-year old girl, Frankie, accidentally kills herself trying to scare her parents


A 13-year-old schoolgirl accidentally killed herself because she wanted to scare her parents after an argument, an inquest has heard.

Francesca Cushion, known as Frankie, was found unconscious in her bedroom by her father and was declared dead in hospital shortly afterwards.

Her mother Colleen Nagel insisted that she would not have wanted to leave her family ‘devastated’ by taking her own life

An inquest in Liverpool heard that the schoolgirl had been waiting for an assessment with mental health specialists before her death on August 19 this year.

She had previously seen a paediatrician who referred her to the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services over concerns she may have had Autistic Spectrum Disorder.
The doctor told Frankie’s parents that she did not need urgent help, and that she did not intend to harm herself.
But on the day of her death, her father Paul arrived at the family home in the suburb of Woolton around 5.30pm and found Frankie unconscious in her bedroom.
He attempted to resuscitate her and she was taken to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, where she was pronounced dead shortly after her arrival.
Ms Nagel told the inquest that Frankie had struggled with her behaviour for two years, and was grounded the week before she died.
‘I think she wanted to scare us and don’t feel she realised the consequences of what she did,’ she added.
‘She left her family and friends devastated and I don’t think she would have wanted to put us through any of this. We strongly believe it was an accident.’
Ms Nagel continued: ‘It happened on a Wednesday. We were flying out to Egypt on the Sunday for a two week holiday, she’d packed her bags… and was looking forward to her holiday.’
She said that Frankie had previously tried to scare her parents and threatened to run away from home.

Anita Bhardwaj, Liverpool area coroner, said she couldn’t be sure ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ that Frankie had intended to kill herself.

Returning a verdict of accidental death, she said: ‘It is more likely than not that Frankie’s behaviour was part of a developmental disability.

‘I conclude on the balance of probability that this was the result of a very tragic accident.’

At the time of Frankie’s death, her old dance teacher described her as ‘very happy-go-lucky’, adding: ‘She just loved life.’



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