South Yorkshire teenager hanged himself after row

NEWS: News.
NEWS: News.

A South Yorkshire teen hanged himself after a row when he was caught following a woman into a pub toilet, an inquest heard.

Eighteen-year-old Michael Wanjau took his own life shortly after pal Natasha Murphy raised the alarm on finding him behind her in the loo.

She screamed at the young odd-job man, who went outside the pub where licensee Kevin Murphy, Natasha’s dad, calmed him down.

However, Michael was later found hanging near some outside steps at the Sir George Arms in Wombwell, Barnsley.

He died in hospital a week later from a serious brain injury.

Sheffield Coroner’s Court heard the teenager had been living above the pub for three months, having previously been homeless and living in a tent in a park.

The tragedy happened as staff, family and friends were having a drink while clearing up after a concert at the pub last December.

Mr Murphy told the inquest it was about 1.30am when Michael became involved in an argument ‘over something and nothing’.

Natasha went to the toilet and Michael followed her in.

The inquest heard she screamed and other women present said: “What are you doing? You shouldn’t be in the ladies. You should know better.”

Mr Murphy said Michael seemed ‘a bit upset’, and they both went outside, where they ‘chatted about bits and bobs’.

Mr Murphy said: “I told him not to worry. He may have had a few drinks, but didn’t seem intoxicated. He seemed all right when he went upstairs.”

However, when Natasha went upstairs 15 minutes later she saw Michael’s lifeless body on the fire escape.

Mr Murphy pulled the teenager aside, shouted for help and tried to resuscitate him. Paramedics arrived, but Michael could not be revived.

Mr Murphy said: “It was absolute horror. There was no prior indication. It came out of the blue.”

Recording a verdict of suicide, Siobhan Kelly, assistant deputy coroner, said: “A number of friends, family members and staff had finished work and were having a drink together.

“There was a dispute between Mr Wanjau and Mr Murphy’s daughter.

“She went into the ladies and a short time after he went in. Natasha was cross about this and shouted at him. He appeared to accept it.

“He was also worried about where he might be staying for Christmas. He was told not to worry about it and things calmed down.”

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