No reason for Norwich teenager Maisie Baxter’s actions, inquest told

A bright, bubbly and talented teenage girl died 'as a result of her own deliberate actions whilst in a disturbed state of mind' an inquest heard this morning.

Maisie Baxter, who was also known as Maisie Gooch, of Whitlingham Lane in Trowse, was found dead at her home in February this year.

But during an inquest in Norwich today, Norfolk coroner William Armstrong said thorough investigations by police had found no reason why the 13-year-old, who was found hanged, had chosen to harm herself.

He said: 'The answer to that question remains elusive. No-one knows exactly what was in Maisie's mind at the time. Clearly Maisie was, at the time, in a troubled and disturbed state of mind. She decided to deliberately inflict harm on herself and may have had some incoherent, vague wish to die. We simply do not know.'

Maisie's mum Robyn Baxter, 34, told the hearing how she had found the word 'goodbye' written on a television screen in her daughter's room as her fiance Phil O'Brien tried to resuscitate her.

No wounds or other signs of harm were found on her body.

But Det Con Tristan Coull, of Norfolk Police, told the inquest he had found no evidence of bullying or any other 'definitive reason' for the teenager's actions.

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Maisie was described as a 'bright, bubbly girl with her whole life in front of her'. A keen singer and actress, she was said to be popular with a good sense of humour.

Recording a narrative verdict, Mr Armstrong said: 'Maisie died as a result of her own deliberate actions whilst in a disturbed state of mind. It is not possible to form a reliable conclusion as to her intentions at the time.'

The coroner said he could not record a verdict of suicide unless he was sure Maisie, who was found hanged, 'intended to bring her life to an end'.

He said: 'Clearly her actions were deliberate. She was an intelligent girl and she knew what she was doing.

'But on careful inspection I can't be sure she realised her actions were likely to be wholly irreversible and she would be making a decision that would bring her life to a permanent end. She was experiencing the inevitable turbulence of adolescence.'

Speaking after the inquest, Ms Baxter paid tribute to her oldest daughter. She said: 'She was one of the funniest, bubbliest, friendliest girls you could have met. She had so many attributes, I could talk about her for a month non-stop.

'There were so many lovely tributes from her school. One of the recurring facts that comes up again and again was her compassion and ability to take everyone under her wing and sort their problems out. Everybody said she made them laugh and smile on a daily basis.'

Today's inquest was attended by more than 10 members of Maisie's family and friends, including her father Steven Gooch.

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