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Family’s tribute to ‘much loved’ teenager

PUBLISHED: 14:55 22 February 2019 | UPDATED: 16:10 22 February 2019

Norfolk Coroner's Court at Carrow House. Photo: Antony Kelly

Norfolk Coroner's Court at Carrow House. Photo: Antony Kelly

Archant Norfolk 2016

The family of a Dereham teenager who took his own life have paid tribute to a “lovely, kind boy” with a “cheeky grin”.

Conor Manly, 18, from Mattishall, was found dead in woodlands off Burgh Lane, an inquest heard on Friday.

Conor’s mother, Shona Finlay, described her son’s “smile that lit up a room”, while his sister Courteney Manly, 17, said she would remember her “protective” older brother’s laugh.

The teenager’s aunt and godmother added: “He was a lovely, kind boy who was much loved and will be sorely missed by his heartbroken family.”

And assistant coroner Nigel Parsley described his death as a tragedy, and offered his “personal condolences” to the family.

Conor, of Back Lane, Mattishall, was reported missing on Wednesday, October 3, after telling his mother he was going to the shop the previous afternoon.

His body was found later that evening in a woodland close to his home address, and a paramedic pronounced him dead at the scene.

His mother told the inquest at Norfolk Coroners’ Court, that her son had began to struggle with his mental health in the year before his death.

Dr Hywel Jones, Conor’s GP, from Mattishall and Lenwade Surgeries, said the teenager was “clearly showing hallmarks of psychotic illness”.

Conor, who was born on October 19, 1999, was referred to the mental health service in April 2018 but was described as reluctant to engage, and was urgently referred again in August.

Mental health nurse Jonathan Heeds, his lead care professional, described difficulty in getting the teenager to engage with services.

Conor was prescribed anti-psychotic medication on Wednesday, September 26, but due to a delay in the fax being received by his GP, it wasn’t collected until October 3, the day of his death.

A Serious Incident Requiring Investigation (SIRI) report was carried out by the Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) and staff were reminded of the trust’s policy that faxes require a follow-up phone call.

Dustine Walker, from NSFT, said it would have taken three weeks for the medication to take effect.

Conor’s medical cause of death was 1A hanging and the coroner recorded a conclusion of suicide.

Mr Parsley praised the family for their dignity and helpfulness throughout the inquest process and wished them closure.

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