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Dudley teenager 'killed himself over grief'

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A 19-year-old man killed himself over grief at the death of his father and following an argument with his girlfriend, an inquest heard.

Kieran Harper, of Peel Street sheltered housing, Dudley, was found hanged in his flat after an argument with his girlfriend Tiffany Bateman.

Mr Harper, who, the inquest heard, had a history of self harm and had taken an overdose at 15 was grieving for his father, who died in 2013, when he killed himself.

Speaking at the inquest, Tracy Woodland of Perry Close, Dudley, described how strong-willed her son was.

"Once he got an idea in his head it was very difficult to change his mind.

"He was Jack the Lad. If there was trouble Kieran was not far behind it. But he had a good heart and would do anything for anyone," she said.

Miss Woodland had spoken to her son at around 6am on the morning of his death to arrange a Christmas meal for the family.

"He seemed positive when I spoke to him, upbeat," Mrs Woodland said.

However, Miss Bateman had an argument with Mr Harper later that day after he saw a message from a friend on her phone saying her ex-boyfriend 'says hello.'

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"He was severely depressed," Miss Bateman said. "His moods were really up and down and he was really missing his dad over Christmas time."

After Miss Bateman left Mr Harper's flat at around 6.30pm that evening, the pair continued to argue by text until Mr Harper's final message was received at 9.14pm.

It read: "I'm going. I've already lost my dad, I can't lose you as well."

A police report confirmed Mr Harper was found hanged later that evening.

Lead coroner for the Black Country Zafar Siddique gave a verdict of suicide.

He said: "This is an absolute tragedy, especially for a young man with all his life ahead of him."

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