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Teenager took her own life when jumping 100ft from Asda supermarket multi-storey car park in Folkestone, inquest heard

By Victoria Chessum

A "bright and popular" Brazilian teenager took her own life by jumping 100ft from a multi-storey car park after breaking up with her girlfriend, an inquest heard.

Luhana Rocha, 16, fell to her death from the Asda multi-storey in Bouverie Place shopping centre, Folkestone, on Sunday, June 12.

The inquest at Folkestone Magistrates' Court today recorded a verdict of suicide.

Among the flowers were candles and pictures of Luhana, also known as Luna.
Among the flowers were candles and pictures of Luhana, also known as Luna.

Miss Rocha, a student at Brockhill Park Performing Arts College, had visited that same car park just hours earlier at 11.30am.

Kim Sheikh, a member of security who was patrolling the supermarket's grounds found the teenager crying in the lobby of the third-storey car park, which is located above the store.

The inquest heard that she was told to leave the area as it was shut and that cameras saw her leave the premises.

It wasn't until just after 5pm that same day that she returned to the car park and mounted a boulder in the corner of the car park which led to her being seen by a man living in a flat in nearby Gloucester Place.

Flowers laid at Radnor Park, a place where Luna used to go after school
Flowers laid at Radnor Park, a place where Luna used to go after school

A statement from detective Sgt Gary Stamp, who investigated the incident, said: "Officers attended and saw a female standing at the top of the railings.

"It has a two tier fence and a step from the inside onto it.

"One of the officers in attendance was a negotiator but before they could get anywhere near her she had jumped.

"The ambulance was called but unfortunately she was pronounced dead at the scene."

Pictures, candles and flowers left in tribute to the popular teen
Pictures, candles and flowers left in tribute to the popular teen

The inquest heard that the teenager had split up with her girlfriend that day and sought help from a church near to the supermarket as she was "distressed".

There had been some "tensions" between her and the girl she was in a relationship with, DS Stamp said.

"They had been involved in some heated discussions.

"There was a further altercation between them in a park."

Flowers were laid against the Bouverie Place shopping centre, below Asda
Flowers were laid against the Bouverie Place shopping centre, below Asda

A witness statement from Margaret Bright, who monitored Asda's CCTV cameras, said that Miss Rocha was seen jumping up and down, with her arms spread wide, and shouting before she jumped that afternoon.

DS Stamp said: "She stood there for about 10 minutes while we were receiving the call from the gentleman and then by the time the officers got there, they got up the car park ramp, about 50 to 60 metres away, as soon as she sees them, she jumps."

A pathologist report read out by assistant coroner Christine Freedman said she died from multiple injuries and did not have any alcohol or drugs in her system.

Miss Rocha had come over to the UK four years ago from Brazil and had been studying at Brockhill Park for two years.

Luhana Rocha was from Brazil
Luhana Rocha was from Brazil

Mrs Freedman said: "Luhana was a bright and popular young lady at school who was doing extremely well.

"There is evidence that she had come to the end of her relationship with one of her friends, she was clearly upset.

"She was seen at the car park even though it was closed in the lobby area where she was in tears and she was subsequently seen at the church in a state of distress.

"What we do know from the CCTV is that she went back to the car park and appears to have walked around before climbing onto the barrier.

"She went there on her own accord, she clearly had much on her mind.

"She deliberately took that fatal step from the ledge and suffered these fatal injuries.

"I am therefore going to conclude that this was suicide."

If you would like confidential support on an emotional issue, call Samaritans free on 116 123.

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